Friday, January 29, 2010
Carry that Cross!
...pick up your cross and follow me. These are a few of Jesus' words from somewhere in the Bible that I cannot share with you at this time because I have only a ridiculously small amount of scripture actually memerized, and I'm in a hotel on a business trip with my husband and didn't pack my Bible, but these words came into focus for me last weekend during my churches' worship service. A member of the congregation was singing a special song that reflected on this verse, and of course, I do not know the name of the song or the exact lyrics, but I know the gist of the lyrics that brought clarity to the concept of the cross in the verse I mentioned because that was always the part of this verse that I never quite understood. What was my cross, and how was I supposed to pick it up and carry it if I didn't know what it was? Well, back to the lyrics,"...I didn't know the hill was this steep, or that the cross was this heavy..." Something about those lyrics, and I can't tell you what, expressed to me that the cross we are to pick up and carry is whatever it takes in the course of our lives to glorify Jesus and help others know him as the awesome Savior and God that he is! My cross recently has been bearing up under the physical and emotional hardship of medical issues and resulting disabilities with a smile on my face that radiates from the joy and hope of Jesus in my heart. Quite honestly, its not something I've done, it is something he's done through me! I can't really explain all the way how I really haven't been an active participant in creating or maintaining this, honest to goodness, well of joy and hope that resides within me, and I can tell you that I would carry this cross over a millon times and as long as Jesus needs me to just to experience this and have him by my side! Yes, the hill is steep, and as I was growing up in the church hearing this verse over and over, I had no idea how steep the hill or how heavy the cross, but I can tell you that daily as I carry my cross for Jesus the last thing on my mind is its weight or the grade of the hill. I am just basking in the presence of my Savior as he assists me in bearing the load! You know, my mind goes to the retelling of Jesus' experience at the cross...He was bearing the weight all alone when someone from the crowd was drafted to assist our staggering Savior. This foreshadowing is beautiful to me for two reasons. First, because the idea of having assistance in bearing the load of the cross is born (Jesus is the one who comes readily to our aid.), and secondly, just like a common man was pulled from the crowd to help Jesus accomplish his purpose, God is still pulling common men and women from the crowd like me to help Jesus accomplish his purpose! Oh, how I wish I had my Bible to find the references that are popping into my head as I type...I just located the Gideon Bible in the room, so hopefully, it will be of assistance! Anyway, my challenge for you is to identify what your cross is and to hoist it onto your shoulders for the glory of God knowing Jesus is coming along right beside you to help shoulder the load! For me, the simple knowledge that my suffering has a purpose makes it totally bearable, so I hope the thought that whatever you are experiencing in your life could just be God drafting you to help carry on the purpose of Jesus' cross, bringing lost souls back into a relationship with God through Christ, strengthens your ability to endure under whatever suffering you are currently experiencing! Tonight as my arm aches endlessly from the spasticity there, I thank God for honoring me with the task of bearing this cross, so that one of you might come to know him more! God created you and loves you, and will do whatever it takes to get into a close, personal relationship with you including putting me in a position to witness effectively to you, and I want you to know I am a willing participant in his plan to reclaim you for himself because, as I said, I know he loves you and values you, and therefore loving him, I love you and value you. I know you are worth whatever it takes to show you that a life lived in relationship with God through Jesus is the only life you deserve! Its the life you were created to live, so start living it now:) I'll post the related scriptures when I get home.