I will never forget the day my mother passed away, it was the day we came back to Northern Ireland from the south of England, that day at 13:00 I received a call from my dad.
I will never forget the words that my father said to me and those words in many ways has shaped my understanding of what a disciple of Jesus is and the cost of following him.
Jesus said that. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:25–27 NIV11-GKE).
In my Dad’s pain and seeing my mother passing away he was able to say to me the words of the prophet Habakkuk:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:17–19 NIV11-GKE)
Sometimes I wonder what do we mean by the cost of discipleship, I think it is not so much about giving up everything and go to the nations to preach the Gospel, (yes, it is also about that). But it is rawer than that, it is about in the daily things in life where pain and joy meet. It is at this point where we have the option of saying: “yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour”. The cost is loving Jesus more than life itself.