Joining Kate for another Five Minute Friday
As a child, I used to read the verse, "take up your cross and follow me," and I never really understood what it meant. I used to think it was very strange. As I grew I started to understand it a bit better, as I had to bear things like ridicule from non-Christian friends, and being left out of things that happened on Sunday mornings because my family went to church every Sunday without fail unless you were home sick in bed.
Now in my adult life, I am learning a whole new meaning to the phrase, "take up your cross and follow me."
I am learning that every single one of us has a cross to bear. We were given it at conception in our mothers' wombs along with the sin-nature that was handed down from Adam. We all have to bear that symbol of death and destruction due to sin.
We don't have a choice what our particular cross looks like. For me, it partly looks like saying good-bye to my precious babies. For my cousin it partly looks like raising four preschoolers one of which has special needs including a feeding tube. For my college roommate and dear friend it partly looks like losing her father as a teenager. For a dear friend and colleague this week it partly looks like holding her mother's hand in the hospital not knowing if she will ever come home on earth or if it is her time to go home to heaven.
We do not have a choice whether or not we will bear a cross, and we do not have a choice what our particular cross might look like each day, but we do have a choice of what to do with our cross. Some choose to buckle under the weight of carrying our crosses ourselves, barely inching along life's road weighed down, tired, and discouraged. Others choose to try to ignore their crosses, paint them up fancy and disguise them to look like something else. Some might just plunk their cross down in the dirt and refuse to go on.
Me, I have chosen to daily pick up my ugly, heavy, pock-marked cross, and follow Jesus. I follow Him because He bears my cross alongside me, shouldering the heavy load. I follow Him because He doesn't disguise it or ignore it, but rather promises to one day exchange it for a crown of glory. I follow Him because He gives me strength to put one foot in front of the other, even when I cannot see where the road I am walking goes up ahead, and I am surrounded by darkness.
And one day when I get that crown of glory, I will lay it down again at His feet and I will be able to say with that great hymn, "All the way, my savior led me!"