34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, (Jesus) said,
"If any of you wants to be my follower,
you must turn from your selfish ways,
take up your cross,
and follow me.
35 If you try to hang on to your life,
you will lose it.
But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News,
you will save it.
36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
37 Is anything worth more than your soul?
38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person
when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Verse 35 may the crucial verse in this passage.
All of my growing up & early young adulthood I heard about this section.
But I don't remember anyone giving the positive spin on verse 35.
Yes, if we hold on to the life WE think we should be living, we won't have it.
But, if we let go of our life,
if we surrender ourselves to God
& what He has in mind for us,
we will find a life with Him that FAR SURPASSES anything our finite minds could ever have conceived possible.
How do I know this?
I've watched people grip with a choke hold the life THEY think they should have, & watched how they self-destructed.
I've seen it over & over again in the people I have known over the years who have surrendered their lives to Him.
And I've seen it in my own life.
All I know is all I know.
Let go of your life & surrender to Him & His will, & then hold on tight ;-)