It is in the difficult seasons, we are pressed, squeezed and tested. This not only shows us where our faith lies but helps us understand our weaknesses. The difficult seasons are the pruning seasons because all the extra baggage that we carry does not allow us to fit in a narrow path. Something must be left behind so that we fit His design and not allow our design to fit Him.
We, in our human nature, tend to lean towards the easy, the broad and the fast way. The least risk, the better right? Actually no. That is not the kingdom way, but it is the way of the world, which does not serve us at all. This broad way is comfortable, you may even say peaceful, but it is a false peace and security. Those who love their lives, are the ones to choose the broad gate to keep their earthly vessels and desires. This way leads to death designed to keep us from reaching the life Jesus died for us to have.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. “Matthew 7:13-14 CSB
One thing I began to understand from reading this scripture is that the narrow gate brings our earthly vessels to die while our spirits live. We lose our life to find our eternal one full of His promises. The life that God intended us to have before we were ever formed in our mother’s womb. A life that may at times seem so uncertain and unsecure, but full of promises of hope, peace and reward. A life that flourishes and thrives, not a life of barely getting by and trying to survive.
Jesus didn’t just choose the narrow gate, He is the narrow gate. He previously instructed us to follow Him, which will lead us to eternal life, but I firmly believe He is saying going through Him is the only way to enter in. Few will find this narrow gate because they are looking for the easy life that is to say that it is going to be feel lonely and difficult, but taking up our cross was never promised to be easy. He actually says “the way is hard that leads to life”.
He was persecuted, pressed, mocked and scorn. He took the way full of trials, obstacles, but He also received His eternal reward (life after resurrection), this same reward that He made available for us. We will also face trials, obstacles, scorn and mockery (each of us to a different degree) because we chose the narrow gate, when we chose Jesus. BUT He also said to be of good cheer because He overcame each one of them and by this so will we.
So let me leave you with one last thought:
“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed: we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed–“2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJV