As I read “Streams in the Desert” this morning I was reminded of the great cost of freedom. We watch and applaud those men and women who have fought for the freedoms we have – and we absolutely should. We shed tears and salute when we realize the loss of life and limb that comes with the cost. It is real. It is great. And if we aren’t careful we stand to lose those freedoms that came at so great a cost.

And then we compartmentalize our spiritual freedom as if the same rules do not apply. We talk as though if we are optimistic enough or spiritual enough that God should and will automatically bless us with health, wealth and happiness.

That is simply not the Story I read. Jesus neither arrived nor departed in comfort. And in between? Not so much. The road to Calvary was difficult, it was poor, it was not popular, it was dirty, it was filled with scars.

This morning I’ve thought about Mary and her road. I believe she would have read “Love You Forever” to her boy and shed a tear as she did. I cannot imagine the agony and emotional scars she bore as she watched life unfold for her beloved son.

I will admit to you that my years in the oasis of life have been my absolute favorite years. And I thank God that He gives us those kinds of years. However, my most productive years spiritually have been those years in the desert. I’ve been walking in the desert for several years with oasis moments and days sprinkled in. I have new scars.

Here is what “Streams in the Desert” said today: “Would you like to be there (at the judgement seat) and see yourself pointed at as the one saint who never knew a sorrow? Oh, no! For you would be an alien in the midst of the sacred brotherhood. We will be content to share the battle, for we shall soon wear the crown and wave the palm.” -C.H. Spurgeon.

So, stand up and salute your scars with me today. They will be worth it when our final freedom is realized!