For all the words I've read in my Bible over the years, those were perhaps the most frightening because I saw myself more clearly than I ever had before. Why? Because my idea of 'eternal life' could have been dubbed the easy life.
Don't misunderstand. I don't mean easy as in trouble free. No, much worse. I mean easy like, pat answers, perfect responses, no brainer Christianity, just doing what you know to do while leaving all emotions, thoughts, and intelligence out of it. An automatic response generated based on knowledge of the Scriptures applied to any given circumstance, situation, or problem. But I can promise you, that is not life. Not even close.
As hurtful as it was to see the reality of my heart on that day, I could not be more thankful for that Holy Spirit gut punch. While I would like to say I am fully recovered from that mentality, I can't. But I can say that I am a lot better now than I was before. Because now, even though I don't do this perfectly, I at least get that when Jesus says, "Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty," that this is a continual activity.
For all the time I have spent seeking physical fitness and healthy choices, one thing that always surfaces is meal prep: figure out what you are going to have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and your two snacks, stick to it, and believe that your preparation will pay off. But I don't think I ever paid attention to the fact that in doing so, you eat five times a day. I would do it, but it was just so automatic, I didn't really pay attention to the motions of it.
But did you notice what meal prep isn't? It isn't eat it all by 8:00 AM and move on until the next day. First, you'd get sick. Second, you'd be hangry by mid-afternoon. Ironically, that's what I've typically done with Jesus. I gorge in the morning and never think to go back for more later in the day.
But that's exactly what He offers, "Come to me." He isn't a one trip salad bar surcharge added on to the meal, He's an endless buffet of all we will ever need to satisfy both hunger and thirst.
The words of John 5 tore me to pieces during the summer of 2016. Seriously. Ripped my heart in two because I didn't know how to adjust. Thankfully, I didn't have to. Jesus has been doing the adjusting all this time and He will continue because He's not giving up on me any time soon, even when I feel like giving up on myself.
Whatever hard words we get when we read the Scriptures, we have to know that Jesus is speaking them for our good. He wants so much more for us than we want for ourselves or think we can either have or deserve. He loves us entirely too much to let us continue on the way we are when He knows we are ready for a dose of the truth. And for that, we can be truly thankful.