Bearing Your Cross
Take up your cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23, NLT)
At the end of Jesus’ earthly life we see or read about him carrying that big, heavy, ugly, wooden cross through the streets—physically exhausted, beaten, weary, and humiliated—still, forced to carry it to the place where he would be nailed to it and die. He took up his physical cross on Good Friday but his cross-bearing started way before then. It actually started the moment he put on human flesh, came to earth and began to experience this earthly life. The physical cross was just the culmination of a life of cross-bearing.
What comes to mind when you think about cross-bearing? The kind of cross Jesus was nailed upon? Or maybe your thoughts go to other kind of crosses. Not the wooden kind but some that you have borne over your lifetime? Physical, emotional, spiritual? Losses you have experienced? Mistreatment from others? Physical, sexual, or emotional wounds? Maybe sickness or pain you have endured for years, longer than you can remember? Our crosses are not pretty, they can be heavy, burdensome, bring us to our knees and, at times, feel like too much to bear. They come in all different shapes and sizes; look different for different people, they are not easy to bear and mostly we want to be able to lay them down and walk away from them, but whatever they look or feel like Jesus says we can bear them, pick them up daily and follow in his footsteps and example. We’d rather not have any but one thing is certain when we must, as promised, Jesus will come and help us bear them as graciously and courageously as he bore his. Let’s Pray
Jesus, you know what it takes to bear these heavy crosses life can bring to us. Help us to bear our crosses just as you bore yours: resolutely, bravely, and courageously. Amen
Questions for Soul-Tending:
What crosses have you borne or are you bearing presently?
Can you see how cross-bearing and soul care are not contradictory but can be incorporated?