‘The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life’. John 12:25 (NIV)
Paradox! What does that mean? Is it a contradiction of terms? Is it when something should be one way, but turns out to be completely the opposite? Do we find this sort of thing spoken of in the Bible? Are there many such instances written of there? Do we find more and more paradoxes the deeper we study? When mankind starts believing things are one way, do we find in the end that they are completely contrary in the Spiritual Realm? Do things in God´s Kingdom just seem to run the opposite of ours? Are people who gain, those who actually by nature give? Are the richest in God´s eyes, those who feel poverty the most? Is life purchased through death?
We humans think the complete opposite. We hoard up our treasures. We defend ourselves from every imagined attack. We fight for our lives and all that we think they are made up of. But all the while Jesus stands there pointing out a different Way. He says lay down our issues. He says give up what we love the most. He says do not protect your life. He says it is not about us anyway. We are not the focus. We are not the center of the universe. We are not God!
If we could get our eyes off of us, would we be able to see that it has always been God Who gives us each of the blessings that we have? Are those blessings given to make us any bigger? Are they given to lift us up and fertilize our own egos? Or are each and every gift given to bring us closer to the Lord? Do they lift God up? Should they?
What about life itself? Is it a gift? Should the very breath of life inside of us serve to bring glory to God? Should even the spark that sets us in motion and sustains us serve to lift Him higher? Should it be something we hoard, guard away, or feel like we should selfishly protect? Or should every breath be happily given up to the Lord as an offering? Could the very blessing of life He gives us be returned selflessly unto Him in an effort to lift Him up? Could we refuse to cling so tightly to something that is not really ours in the first place? Could we give up ownership of the life that is merely allotted to us for a short time? If we could lose our selfishness over this life here, would we stand to gain an infinitely larger and fuller life in Christ? Would the Life Jesus is offering us be eternally more fantastic than the pitiful one we love so dear right now? Would we stand to find Life with Him if we would accept His offer to lose our preoccupation with this life on earth? Who of us today would like to live this kind of paradox? Who is willing to lose their life to find it with Him?
Dear Jesus, we struggle to comprehend sometimes. There are so many things that we read one way only to find that You are trying to lift our eyes even higher. Please let us stop fighting. Let us lay down our ways, our habits, and our life. Then, when we are done with this, give us the Other! Give us You! Give us Life with You that will make all that we experience here in this earthly walk seem insignificant. Let us take every blessing we are given here and learn to use them to bring us closer to You. Let everything, right to the last breath be given gladly to glorify You and bring us to God! Show us how to lose our grip on this life, so we can find real Life in You!