Does it pay to follow Jesus?

Published on June 22, 2005

By Hauthang Kilong

June 22, 2005: Know a man back home who loves the Lord deeply. Humility to honesty, tithing to testimony, he portrayed an example. Humanwise, he was a consensus candidate for blessings celestial – encompassing physical and material realms, spiritual vibrancy apart. Yet, he remained a poor man, steeply ridden in poverty. Only daughters and no son made life presumably tougher. The word of God, however, promises ‘Enormity’ for His children. And instances such as this tend to be a great source of discouragement. To the world, it was rather absurd he has to worship some responseless God. Pitiable, no less. A fool to some. Greeted with still darker future he reached a dead end. But the man was unmoved by circumstances prevalent. He persisted in his decision to follow the Lord. Nevertheless, people were inclined to prod, “Does it pay for that man to follow Jesus?” Valid question, chaotic answer.

Barely spent sleepless nights over the matter till hardships of spiraling magnitude engulfed me. Sequence of eerie events unfolded one after another. Life abandoned loved ones. Maladies, hitherto foreign, launched an invasion. Innate features gone, USPs fractured, almost lost my mind, almost lost the will to live. Greater irony, all these unraveled just few days after I gladly came to the Lord. And to imagine, how one sought the Lord from childhood, what a bias?. Sheepishly observed folks, who ‘give a damn’ about God. They play blissfully in the sun. Profound hurt hibernate within. Multifarious questions flooded the mind.”Is this what one gets for following You Lord?”. ” Why does God allow His children to suffer?”. “ Why should God ‘replay a Job’ in me?”. The list is endless. In a short time span, my pristine world revolves upside down. Curiosity looked for a genuine cause, reasons abound but devoid any limpid answer. In the abyss of dilemma, faith wavered. Deserted and disliked. Life retained little meaning.

It was the Shillong days. In one of the meetings of EU (now UESI) fellowship, the renowned servant of God, Rev. Vanhlalngaka spoke on the poignant theme, ‘Does it pay to follow Jesus?’. The forceful message echoed thereon. Candidly, overwhelmed by the immutable punches at hand, neither made head nor tail of the extempore. Yet, it was ample to usher in sobriety. ” Does it really pay?” Inconclusiveness reign for a terribly long time. Acceptance of fate so arduous. Surely, can’t afford to forsake the Lord. Have just found Him. But He seems inexplicably dormant. Unbothered. The quest of the day, however, was a powerful God. One who abet realization of meticulously cultivated dreams. Time and again, insisted the Lord for reversal of status quo. ” Back to square one”. It never happened.

The immediate past pictures an indelible saga of testing. The jungles metamorphose into ‘prayer cabins’. The heartfelt cry every new day has been,” Lord, this is not fair ”. And the Lord seemed to comfort, “Child, I know what I am doing”. It’s been quite sometime since the draining journey began. Amidst tears and toils. Weeping and plodding. Afflictions and healing. Realities and miracles. Where do I stand? Fortunately, somewhere along the bumpy road, the soothing answer dawned. ‘ Yes, It pays to follow Jesus ’. It would have been unassailable without Him. Jesus became the raison-d’et-re………The Purpose of Life. Chided, corrected and attuned. Replete lessons from real-life blitzkrieg. Yep!!! What a humbling experience. Most succinctly,” Jesus Pays”. No doubt about it. What is your take?