“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6)
Over the past few of weeks, I have been confronted afresh and with new eyes with life and the gratuitous amounts of suffering that accompany it, particularly in the lives of people very close to me. It’s been weighing on me heavy, and I’ve been learning the importance of counting Christ as precious.
Why is it important to count Christ as precious, more precious than this life and the things therein? Well what would happen if you didn’t count Christ as more precious than this life and the things therein, counting them more precious than him, and you were stripped of those very things, as we all inevitably shall be?
There would be no point to living! No purpose, no reason, no end to existence. I recall a conversation with a dear friend recently about her child. “What would you do if the baby had have died in birth?” I asked her. She replied, “I would kill myself.”
That’s so often the condition of the human heart, and I’ll be the first to plead guilty here. We are so prone to make life worth living based on the presence of a partner, or of lots of friends, or of youth, or of our ability to work. So when those things which make life worth living are taken away – we lose our partner to another person, gravity and time take their toll, we lose a limb in an accident, or we even lose a baby in birth – life becomes not worth living.
But whilst all these things are fleeting and not worthy of counting precious, Christ is worthy, because he remains when they fail. When your friends are taken away and loneliness becomes intimate, Christ remains, and becomes a friend closer than a brother. When your relationships fall apart tragically, Christ remains, providing you with eternal relationship with the Father. When depression, self harm, and suicide grip their deathly hands tight around your throat, exhausting you of all worldly hope, Christ remains, overflowing with the hope of the life to come. When you are sexually abused, used, and abandoned, Christ remains, washing, cleansing, sanctifying.
Only Christ is constant! All these other things are fleeting, this world and the things therein:
“Seasons change too rapidly
for us to grasp the mystery;
And people come in and out of our lives
to fast to sympathise.
But you’re not one of those who leaves;
You’re everywhere, my sole belief.
In you I find the only peace there is;
In you I live.”
Count Christ as precious, friends! Don’t count life worth living based on stuff you have, or the relationship you have, or the alleged promise of a long life. All these things are fleeting, and as soon as we have them in our hands they will be take from us. When that happens, it is only Christ that remains. Therefore, count Christ as precious, over and above all these things. As Paul said, “to live is Christ.” Forsake the crutches of sin and substance for the sake of counting Christ as precious!