In The Pilgrim’s Progress we see Christian walk through many a danger–in the words of “Amazing Grace,” “through many dangers, toils and snares.” There are people accompanying him along the way–friends and foes (even if unwittingly so) alike. Without the friends, Christian would never have made it from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. So it wasn’t like he was alone. And yet in a sense it is true that he, and all of us like him in Jesus have to make this journey alone. While we do so as those in community in Jesus, each of us has our part to do. And our walk of faith which we must take. Others are with us, and we are a part of them in Jesus, but not one of them can live our life for us. We must do it ourselves, to be sure in Jesus which means in dependence on Jesus and interdependence on his Body.
While we must do this, we indeed do so being borne up by God through the prayers of others. And indeed our Lord never leaves us, nor forsakes us, ever present with us through the Spirit. And yet there is a Calvary road which we must walk, which by nature is a walk alone. Dietirch Bonhoeffer in his classic, Life Together, warns us that if we can’t live in solitude, then we best beware seeking community. And if we can’t live in community, we best beware seeking solitude. The point being there is a time for both, even though at heart we are in this life in Jesus, which means union not only with Jesus, but with all who are in Jesus. But we each have our own part by faith in love for the good of each other, Christ’s Body, and for the world.
At times I want to flinch and draw back, and avoid life. Life can seem overwhelming at times, to be sure. And there are those trials we face which seem more than we can bear. And yet in this life, though we indeed need times of rest, we have to get on and complete the journey and task God in Jesus has for us. We fulfill it, indeed growing up through that, only by walking through whatever God has for us in this life. Faithfully through it, in faith and dependence on God through Jesus, and interdependence for support from others in Jesus. May the Lord teach us more and more what that means in the same down to earth way in which he lived it out in this life. And may we live that out more and more, in him.