I was laying in bed last night, and as per typical, I was unable to fall asleep immediately. It really doesn't matter how tired I am, it's always at least a few minutes before I can completely doze off...
So, as I lay there--not awake, but not fully asleep--I decided to pray.
I sort of mumbled/half-breathed the prayer, "I want to be like you, Jesus."
At almost the same moment the final word exited my mouth, I felt a heavy impression on my heart and in my thoughts. It caused me to literally gasp, then exhale a deep breath of..."Whoa." Suddenly, I was AWAKE.
This impression, that I am certain was from the Holy Spirit, spoke clearly to me...
"Be careful what you pray for."
Then, my mind was immediately filled with the truth, "Yes, Jesus is holy, selfless, dedicated, impacting, a great leader, full of compassion and love, just. BUT, remember...Jesus was also scorned, scoffed at, ridiculed, rejected, betrayed, and ultimately, beaten and murdered."
I think I'll be processing all that implies in my life for awhile, but what I take immediately from it is the admonishment and the reality-check that Jesus' life was not just a bunch of miracles and Messiah-moments...He wasn't always surrounded by tangible success or people who appreciated the purpose He came to serve...And, if I truly desire to be like Jesus, I need to live consciously aware that my life won't be either. It may even require extreme sacrifice.
Allow me to leave you with this concept, though...No matter what, I am thoroughly convinced that a life lived smooth, but without Jesus at the center, is no life compared to one fully devoted to His likeness--even if it is full of trial and tribulation.
"To live, is Christ. To die, is gain." Philippians 1:21