It’s the journey that makes us grow

Jesus has us on a journey, just like Aslan the lion took the children on a journey in the land of Narnia, because it was the journey that grew them up. It wasn’t their efforts or their determination or “doing their part” that made them grow, it was simply what happened to them on the journey.

As we live in eternity with Christ right now, this is what happens to us too. It’s not our efforts that grow us up, it’s the journey. This is the stage where Jesus now saves us by his life. His death got the journey started for us, but “how much more shall we be saved through his life!” Romans 5:10. There’s a lot more to come, all of which brings us closer and closer to God, to the point we really begin to “rejoice” in him, verse 11.

That’s the journey Jesus now has us on, our very own “pilgrim’s progress.” His death began the journey but what follows grows us up. It’s like the children stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia. Their journey had just begun; it’s what followed that did wonderful things to them. It was tough at times, yes, but they grew, and every bit of what happened to them served some aspect of Aslan’s marvellous plan for them, that one day they would be kings and queens in his kingdom.

The children had no idea at the start that this was Aslan’s plan, or that the journey they were embarking on would perfectly prepare them for what Aslan had in mind. Nor do we. We have no idea what Jesus “saving us by his life” means, or any previous experience of it. Paul does give us a clue, though, that there will be “sufferings,” verse 3, so the journey will be tough at times, but it’s just as much a part of our salvation, because it grows us up in “perseverance, character and hope,” verse 4, all of which are perfect preparation for what Jesus has in mind for us. We can, therefore, “rejoice in our sufferings,” verse 3, knowing that they’re all part of the journey that’s taking us to the exact point Jesus has planned for us to be at.

And like Aslan, Jesus keeps us encouraged along the way, pouring his love into our hearts (verse 5) so that we never stop hoping and believing in him, that through all this mess we have to go through, there’s a marvellous purpose to it all. And what part do we play in all this? The same part the children played in Narnia. They lived life as it happened, because it was the journey that made them grow.

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