It was the summer of 2014, and I was living in Poland for a few weeks. I was working alongside local missionaries and churches with a team for the summer, and we had decided to hike a mountain for pierogi. You heard me, pierogi. (In Poland, the plural for pierogi does not have an "s" and since living there I've adopted saying it that way.) Anyway, we decided to hike a mountain for pierogi.
A three hour hike would bring us to this little restaurant sitting on top of a mountain in Poland, and we were promised that the food and the views were well worth the hike. So hike we did. Only, I hate hiking... with other people that are faster than me. You see, I have little legs and a stout body, and that makes hiking difficult when people are more slender and athletic than me. I like to take my time, meander, and allow my heart and lungs time to catch up. But not everyone is like me. And so my little heart started this particular hike with a bitter, grumbling posture.
My friends were very kind in waiting for me, taking breaks, and walking slower so that I could keep up. And you know what, as we reached some of the view points and as we got closer to the top, my bitter, grumbling heart and attitude starting changing. The closer we were to the end, the greater perspective I had. When we finally reached the top, my attitude and bitterness were completely forgotten, and it was because the hike had been worth it. The views were spectacular. The food was amazing, and we had an all around good time.
You see, this hike taught me an important lesson about life. Sometimes you have to endure hard things if you want to get to the good thing. You have to endure the hard hike if you want to get to the views and the pierogi. Something that I have been reminded of recently is that the same is actually true when it comes to our spiritual life: we do not get resurrected life apart from dying.
The Bible has a lot to say about the resurrection of the dead. In fact, the core of Christianity is wrapped up in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus' resurrected body is what convinced the early Christians to give their lives to sharing about Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and this message cost them their lives. But you see, their hope was in their own future resurrection with Christ. Because Christ died and rose from the dead, they knew that they would rise with him as well.
But in order for Christ to rise from the dead, death was inevitable. And the same goes for Christians. In order to get the resurrected life and life everlasting, we have to die first.
I'm eager to experience the resurrection of the dead one day and meet my Maker face-to-face, in a new body, with no brokenness, evil or sin. What else could a girl ask for? But in order to resurrect, I will one day have to die first, and that will not be pleasant. But what awaits on the other side makes it so much easier to endure.
I've been thinking about this today as I remember my time in Poland and the lessons that it taught me. One lesson I will never forget is the lesson I learned on that mountain and how it pointed my heart to the hope of the resurrection and the life everlasting. Amen.
If you would like to learn more about my trip to Poland and the things that God taught me through that trip, you can see and read all of the posts here.
This post is part of a series called Longing For Home. You can read some or all of the other posts from this series here as well.
One of the things that I enjoy doing here on the blog is sharing about edifying and encouraging content that I've stumbled upon. One of the joys of the interwebs is that it connects us to a myriad of other people.
When I was a sophomore in college, I stumbled upon Emily P. Freeman's blog. At that time, it was called Chatting At The Sky. Since then, she has written several books and released a podcast.
While I don't know Emily personally, I have found a kindred spirit in her writings and creative pursuits.
A year ago she released the first episode of a Podcast called The Next Right Thing. It's a podcast for anyone and everyone in the midst of the regular decisions of life.
While Brandon and I've had a number of different life decisions over this past year, sometimes I just listened to her podcast to listen to the ways that she tells and weaves stories about life.
If you're in the midst of a big life decision or just looking for a podcast that will encourage, inspire, and wake you up gently in the morning, this one is for you!
It's Simply Tuesday - my book review of one of Emily's books.
Hey There! I'm Madi,
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She Laughs Without Fear