The Hardness of the Way

Children, how hard is it!

— St. Mark 10:24

I ask the youth, “Have you been keeping the commandments?” “I will not dare to say that,” I suppose him to answer. “But,” I ask, “Does your answer imply that, counting the Lord a hard master, you have taken the less pains to do as he would have you? Or that, bending your energies to the absolute perfection he requires, you have the more perceived the impossibility of fulfilling the law? Have you, filled with desire to be perfect, gone kneeling to the Master to learn more of the way to eternal life? Or are you so well satisfied with what you are, that you have never hungered and thirsted after the righteousness of God, the perfection of your being? If so, then be comforted; the Master does not require of you to sell what you have and give to the poor. You follow him!  Bring him a true heart, an obedient hand: he has given his life-blood for that; but your money—he neither needs it nor cares for it. Go and keep the commandments. They are enough for you. When in keeping them you have found the great reward of loving righteousness, and that with all the energy you can put forth you are but an unprofitable servant; when you are aware of a something beyond all that your mind can think, yet not beyond what your heart can desire—a something that seems as if it never could be yours, which yet your life is worthless without; when you have come therefore to the Master with the cry, “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” it may be he will then say to you, “Sell all that you have and give to the poor, and come follow me.”


by James House

I thank God that he shares a generous measure of the Grace of Christ with me - to strengthen me, and nudge my wayward will back toward obedience and growth.   

I share here a short selection of quotes from George MacDonald, that relate to the matters of today's passage, in hope that they bring some new thoughts, insights, and hope to those that read.

"The Lord knows what they need; they know only what they want. They want ease; he knows they need purity."

"The whole secret is to do the thing the Master tells you: then you will understand what he tells you"

"The honesty in which a man can pride himself must be a small one, for more honesty will ever reveal more defect, while perfect honesty will never think of itself at all."

"Shall we then bemoan any darkness? Shall we not rather gird up our strength to encounter it, that we too from our side may break the passage for the light beyond? He who fights with the dark shall know the gentleness that makes man great—the dawning countenance of the God of hope."

"God gives us the necessary strength to resist what is bad in us. He is making at you now; only you must give in, else he cannot get on with the making of you"

"We are like to Him with whom there is no past or future, with whom a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, when we do our work in the great present, leaving both past and future to Him to whom they are ever present, and fearing nothing, because He is in our future as much as He is in our past, as much as, and far more than we can feel Him to be in our present. Partakers thus of the divine nature, resting in that perfect All-in-all in whom our nature is eternal too, we walk without fear, full of hope and courage and strength to do His will, waiting for the endless good which He is always giving as fast as He can get us able to take it in."


"a man may well be strengthened and encouraged by the hope of being made a better and truer man, and capable of greater self-forgetfulness and devotion."