There are many people who desire to follow Christ. There are many people who want what Christ offers. There are many who wake each day ready to experience that love in their hearts and bring that love to others in the world.
And then Hardship comes. The knees begin to get weak. The resolve begins to waver. The mind begins to question. Doubt slowly seeps in and in the midst of such a circumstance faith burns not brighter but cold.
Really! We often suppose something went wrong when hardships come our way. How can this be? How can love invite such tragedy as pain and suffering? Yet is this not what we see in this first reading as we a again open our hearts and minds to the Acts of the Apostles.
"In those days" it begins and then it proceeds "they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead."
Hardships faced and endured.
"But when the disciples gathered around him, he got up and entered the city."
Paul faced the hardships head on. No whining! No complaining! No tantrums! He got up and went back into the city.
"It is necessary to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God."
Ponder that for a moment. What hardships do you face because of your faith?
Living the gospel is not the path of least resistance; it not all fluff and stuff. It requires a heart refined and a will determined.
We too must learn to "get up" and face it head on.
We must make sure that the hardships we endure are endured for doing right and following Christ.
Hardships are like the old lye soap, course but yet cleansing, paving the way for truth and love to be the cornerstone of our life.