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Romans 5:6-8, "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Some things in life are things that we are dealt - handed to us without our approval, acceptance or permission. Good or bad - these are the situations and circumstances that either befall us or inspire us, dependent upon what we do with them.

Other things in life, we choose. Also, whether good or bad - joyous or regrettable - those turns that we independently take either bless us or bite us. Often times, as we go through life, we look back and wonder, "Was it worth it?"

A few years ago, my longtime friend and adoptive Mom, Deb, had knee replacement surgery. I spent the night with her, and I watched her come out of the surgery and immediately begin to move the new joint, per instructions. I hadn't ever seen her in pain like that before, as she pushed through cycles of agony, throbbing and discomfort. It may have been the first time I'd seen her cry, now that I think about it. With each stretch and movement that she did, I felt myself silently grit my own teeth, despite my hopeful cheering and exercise-set-counting for her. She stood. She used a walker. And she continued to move.

Seeing her intense pain, I asked her if she would have done something differently in life to have been gentler on her knees. She told me that most of the wear and tear that she had accumulated was due to years and years of playing her favorite sport. And she told me confidently, "It was worth it."

Deb and I met on the field playing this sport together. I was a fresh newbie and she had been playing for almost as long as I'd been alive at the time that I started. I fell in love with the sport and was amazed as I watched her dive forward, countless times, with the ground looming ahead - collision imminent - just to get the ball. And, from her, I learned that, if you love it, you play hard.

This wasn't your typical sport. This was Beep Ball. Baseball for the Blind. And playing it took a unique form of bravery that hadn't been asked of me before.

I played a sighted position and I learned how to play blindfolded as well. I remember the first time that I got to a base in under 8 seconds. It had taken me a long time to get there. I was fearful of running blindly, being completely blindfolded as per the rules, and aiming for a "buzzing" from a standing base was more than intimidating. But there finally came a moment when I asked myself if landing on the ground would really be that bad. If I hit a hole in the ground while running - if I tripped over my own feet - or if I hit the base square on, finding myself in the dirt that way - would it be worth it?

The moment I answered "yes" was the moment I finally ran with all I had - no holding back.

I learned that, if you truly love something, then it is worth it - whatever "it" may be.

Even when I look at the pain and severity of the shame and the cross laid before Jesus, I realize that the question, "Was it worth it?" was not something that caused Jesus to hesitate. From the beginning, Jesus said that WE were worth it. From the beginning, Jesus came into this world with the purpose to die so that we might live. He walked on this earth. He became a part of this world. He loved like no one with His authority had loved before. He saw the depravity of mankind - yet He still said, "It is worth it." and made His way to the cross. For me. For you. For us.


We live in a culture that is full of extremes. We sway from hating and destroying ourselves to over-loving ourselves from pedestal height. We have high rates of suicide, and we have high rates of egotism. And we struggle to find the balance between the two.

I think that we can find the balance between these extremes when we look at what was done for us on the cross.

When we view Jesus, the Son of God, hanging on the cross, we come to understand both of these extreme truths:

we were WORTH dying for and we did NOT deserve it.

Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God."

John 3:16, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son"

Romans 4:25, "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification."

Pastor Tim Keller said it this way, "The cross is the place where we see the convergence of great suffering and God’s forgiveness. Psalms 85:10 sings of a day when ‘righteousness and peace shall kiss.’ The cross of Jesus is where that occurred, where God’s demands, His righteousness, coincided with His mercy."

photo cred: diviantart

We live and we die. If you have breath in your lungs, those are facts that you face. If you are a believer, you live with the promise of life beyond this present existence.

With failures and achievements behind you and with no promise of tomorrow ahead of you, will you make an attempt at living a life full of "it was worth it" moments? Will you choose to stand for your faith? Your marriage? Your beliefs? Your children? The Word of God? The truth?

Will you close your eyes at the end of the journey and say, "it was worth it"? Or, will you think on all those things that you "should have done"? Will you show up at the end of the race with brackets of selfless cultivation or of vain attempts at self-preservation?

"Self-preservation isn’t worth it if you can’t live with the self you’re preserving” ~ David Levithan

Choose this day whom you will serve. (Joshua 24:14-15)

But remember --- HE chose YOU.


Lord, thank You for constantly being a lamp to my path. When my mind wanders and my feet want to also, thank You for guiding me back to find strength and perseverance in You. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for dying for me. I want to live a life full of more "it was worth it" moments and I need Your help to do so. I give thanks for Your wisdom and direction. I love You, Lord. Amen.

Sarah Jane

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