The Jesus who calls us follow him, is also the Jesus who is with us always, is the Jesus who walks alongside us, is the Jesus who calls us his friends.
The same Jesus counsels us that we will have trouble in the world, and offers the comfort that he has overcome the world.
From Henri Nouwen:
Sometimes there is an eagerness in us, or around us, to turn Jesus into a problem solver. We think he will solve all our problems, and if all our problems are not solved we don’t have enough faith. Tis is not really Jesus’ intent. At least that is not what is in the Gospel. Jesus is not there to get us out of hot water. He is not the cure-all for our difficulties. Jesus is not the end of the hard times in our lives. That is not what Jesus is.
To follow Jesus means that we do the walking. We are the ones doing the talking, living life, getting involved. We are the ones struggling, the ones who need to work hard. Jesus, in a way, does not take away the difficulties of our journey. I even dare to say that, following Jesus means everything changes while everything remains the same. You know very well that followers of Jesus – disciples – are people who live real human lives. The work of life does not come easier to them because they are disciples.
Life, as many of us know, can actually become more difficult – more painful – when we choose to follow Jesus. Yet at the same time we gain a certain strength because we no longer live our life or our agony alone We no longer live our struggle in isolation. We no longer live our paise as if nobody cares. Indeed, following Jesu means walking in his path, taking steps behind the One who shows us the way in our dark, broken, painful world.
Henri Nouwen, Following Jesus, SPCK, 2019, pgs 70-71.