Matthew 16:24-26 The Message
24-26 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?”
What could you ever trade your soul for? Such a powerful question. Initially, I would say nothing. Yet as a mother, I would have traded my soul for a healthy and happy daughter. You didn’t know Danielle. She was an alive person, brilliant and full of energy. She could talk forever. Danielle and Dave would debate all sorts of religious subjects. She could sing so beautifully. She loved children and children loved her.
But Danielle had borderline personality disorder. That is a serious mental illness marked by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships. She would live for weeks in her room, cutoff from everyone, even herself, seeing herself from outside her own body. She lived vicariously through television and through novels she would begin to write. She miscarried three times, was divorced, and addicted to pain medication.
Yes, I would trade my soul if……if she was happy, if she was not mentally ill, if she could have led a normal life. If……if she hadn’t killed herself.
So instead I get to practice self-sacrifice. I give up my desire to have her for belief that she is whole, complete and perfect in the arms of God. There, finally, she is happy and healthy and I get to keep my soul.
Prayer: Dear God, I intend to come with you and to let you lead. You are in the driver’s seat. Thank you for the opportunities to suffer. It is here where I grow the most. Help me to see your goodness in everything in life. Amen.