Following Christ in Abundance and Affliction

Cameron Cole | June 16, 2015

I sat next to a 25-year-old man at the Mockingbird Conference in New York in 2010 as he wailed. He had maneuvered himself into a private corner of the majestic nave of historic Parish of Calvary St. George in Grammery Park. As I stood by listening to his sobs and hoping to comfort him with a quiet presence, a common refrain rang amid his heaves of pain. “I didn’t know life was going to be this hard. I had no idea it would be so painful.”

The young man had left the cultural cocoon of suburbia, church, private school, Christian college, and campus ministry only to find a buzzsaw in the real world. He had naive expectations of happiness, prosperity, and connection as he emerged into adulthood. Instead his hopes had been dragged down a gravel road behind a chariot of loneliness, failure, and disillusionment.

From our brief conversation, I got the impression that he thought obediently following Jesus and complying with Christian morality would insulate him from pain. He had always believed that God had a wonderful plan for his life, but now he just wondered where in the world God could be found.

The Tension 

Parents and youth ministry…

To read the rest of this article, visit