I like Rich Mullin's song, Hard. I distrust Christian spiritual teaching or theology which seems to indicate that one can arrive to a place in this life in Jesus where it is no longer hard to follow Jesus in this life.
Of course we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And as we are more and more confirmed in obedience, we will experience more and more God's good freedom in righteousness and holiness in the Jesus way.
Yet the Jesus way is one of taking up our cross and following to the end. Did Jesus' life get any easier as he lived? I think his hardest days were toward the end as he was fulfilling the Passion, or his appointed suffering. In that Jesus is unique, yet we in Jesus too are to partake of his sufferings, becoming like him in his death in this world.
The more we in Jesus can realize we're in this together, the better. That's maybe the one missing note from Rich's song: we're in this life, in this hardness- together. Not just in the good times, but in the bad, down times as well. We need to be in there for each other. I'm glad for people who are there for me in my life. And I want to be there for others in their lives. God made it so we do need each other as we rely in faith together on our God. The fact that this aspect is hard is all too evident in our churches and in our all too often wounded or broken relationships.
What would you add to this thought? How can we be encouraged in all this?