Mortification is difficult because it uncovers the depth of our brokenness. There is a kind of anguish we experience as God gently reveals to us our sin, layer after layer. It would be much easier if we could experience this death-to-self as a one-time event, but of course mortification is a life journey and it never happens fast. All the extraordinary transformations we've witnessed during our lifetime can unintentionally deceive us. We marvel at the result assuming it just happened. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those remarkable transformations come from a slow sequence of hidden, miniature movements in a single direction, like dripping water carving stone. "Great things," wrote Vincent Van Gogh, "are done by a series of small things brought together." That's true for any art form, whether you're striving to grow as a painter, pianist, or growing in Christlike virtue. To become an artisan of anything, especially God's kind of love, inches along over years, not weeks or months. Spiritual growth is never all-or-nothing, we grow by degrees.