And He journeyed throughout the cities and villages, teaching and making His way toward Jerusalem. And someone said to Him, ‘Lord, are there only a few who are being saved?’
And He said to them, ‘Struggle to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will seek to enter, yet will not be able.’
When I opened my Bible to this passage only recently, I found a footnote at the end of the verse, which said that “will not be able” can also be read as “will not be strong enough”.
I wonder what it means for us when we let fear shatter the very things that we love.
I want to know what fear is. I am yet to understand where it comes from, and more importantly, why we constantly allow it to stop us.
The alternative way to read Jesus’ words is this: ‘Many want what has been promised to them by the Lord God Himself, but are not courageous enough to go after it.’
There is a path many fail to choose for themselves… out of fear.
And what’s more surprising is that Jesus urges us to “struggle” to enter through the narrow door…. to understand that the road will not be easy… but this does not mean that we stop, or that we let fear overwhelm us. We may suffer along the way, but this does not make it any less of a courageous act.
I have let fear supersede all my expectations of what it can do to me. I have let fear run the course of my life. I am the first to say that I try to avoid risk-taking… at all costs. (See the irony in that?) But I believe there are some things truly worth fighting for, and despite the suffocating feeling fear can give us, we have to remind ourselves of what we are waging battle against.
Fear is able to creep up, like a ‘thief in the night’ – to use biblical language – and snatch up what we thought we wanted. What we thought….
‘You still want it.’ I have to tell myself this, every time fear seeps in. I do this because something deep down, within my gut, tells me that I still love it. Though the world may shake and tremble beneath my feet, though we have people around us who might question or judge or want nothing but to stand in our way, we still want it… don’t we?
When I speak of this moment of fear, I know that it covers an array of experiences and decisions. I especially refer to moments when we allow fear to stand between us and God – between us and Love. These moments are more difficult when we look around and feel alone, or we look around, and are utterly confused about what is going on. Sometimes, what we go through doesn’t make sense to us. When we fail to understand, or to hear God’s voice in us, or to sit and wait in the silence, we are scared of going any further. Somehow we are convinced that taking another step will be more disastrous. We won’t take that chance… and sit and wait.
But I ask you, if not for all the fears and anxieties, and your heart throbbing in your throat, would you not sit in the silence for just one more minute? What if, in staying, you finally hear a voice – His voice?
What if the very thing keeping us from what we’ve always wanted, turns out to be ourselves? There is a strange way that fear works… It makes us believe that we cannot conquer it. But what it wants to stop us from doing is this: to avoid conquering ourselves. This is possibly the most challenging part of sacrificial love. But it’s a necessary step. Putting everything aside, including our uncertainties of the future, including our own selfishness, we are taught to pursue what we love. And to never look back.
Stay here. I know you’re scared, but I am with you. I won’t abandon you. Trust in Me.