A Facebook memory popped up earlier in April. It was a reflection I had on Easter. It was at the beginning of Covid. But the message was loud and clear to me as I read it again, 3 years later.
“I heard a life changing message a few days ago on carrying your cross. I cried as the speaker shared that she had all but put her cross down. She didn’t want to carry it anymore. And honestly, I think it that it can seem easier to put down the things that burden us, or walk away from them so that we don’t have to endure the pain.
The speaker had a dream where she was sitting with her back against the wall. She is an elderly woman, maybe late 80’s. And she saw a cross. She asked God if that was her cross. And He said it was. She asked Him how long she was supposed to carry it, and He said “All the way home.”
That message lead me to think and consider a lot that was going on in my life. There are a lot of things that I would rather put down, and not endure. And I have said more than once “I wish the burden wasn’t so strong, I will it was easier to not be obedient.”
Yes, I did wonder if it would have been easier to have put down my cross. But I have come to see that a lot of the times our crosses are rooted in love. Sometimes love for others, sometimes the love God has for us, and sometimes the love we have for God that leads to obedience. And it is a love that is really hard to explain. But it was the love that Christ had for us. His burden was heavy, because it was about His undying love for us, and His unwavering obedience to His Father.
How long are you willing you to carry your cross?
And this is a message that can be really hard to hear, because we want the love, peace, and joy that God offers without the obedience part. I am so guilty of sometimes wanting to put my cross back down and not pick it back up again.
But then we don’t get to today. We wouldn’t have the risen King, with the scars in His hands as He reaches out to us. ALIVE. We wouldn’t see that the promises He makes stand firm.
Let’s not miss it. Let’s carry our crosses, all the way home, so that we can see the empty grave. Everyday. May our prayers reflect Jesus prayers. Not my will, but Yours be done.”
I remembered how hard it was just a few months before I wrote that. It definitely felt like a cross. And I wanted to put it down. At one point, I actually had put it down, and somehow I picked it back up.
How to carry your cross…
Just recently things felt hard again. And I longed for the days when things were easier, and filled with gratitude instead of feeling like I had fiery darts being shot at me in many directions.
I wanted joy, but God wanted my endurance. It can be easy to believe the lie that if we are Christians, life should be easy, and it should be easy to endure. But the reality is that is not true. And in times like this, I need to look at Jesus.
He agonized in the garden right before He was betrayed. He asked God to take the cup of suffering away if at all possible, and an angel had to come to strengthen Him. Then His disciples scattered. His journey to the cross was not easy. It was painful, and He wasn’t just carrying the weight of the cross, He was carrying the weight of our sin.
No, it was not easy for Him. Just the same, there are times that won’t be easy for us. And we must remember that and know that it is okay. We can’t hold ourselves to a higher standard than Jesus.
Hebrews 12 says that He endured the cross, for the joy set before Him. The resurrection, and His place at the right hand of God, His father.
There is joy set before us as well. The promise of eternal life with the perfecter of our faith. And the author of Hebrews encourages us to remember Him, so that we don’t grow weary and lose heart.
Jesus died on the cross. But Sunday came. It was a promise, and God’s promises never return void.
Let’s keep walking, carrying the crosses that lead us to the cross, because after the cross, comes resurrection.