Are you accepting of your own cross? (Luke 9.23)
Hello to you dear reader.
This is my first post since the publishing of my book “No Ordinary Life” in November, so it is great to touch base with you again. I needed to step away and take a sabbatical from writing, to allow myself to rest until I felt that nudge from the Holy Spirit, gently reminding me that it is time to get back to writing and sharing on what the Lord has put on my heart, and this particular subject has recently come up.
As a believer and follower of Christ, I thought I understood the meaning of ‘carrying my own cross’ (Luke 9.23). However, the real significance of what this means was brought home to me during a recent dark and spiritually dry place in my own life.
Life can get hard at times and I have experienced and witnessed this lately, not only in my own life but especially in the lives of my family and close friends, some of whom are suffering a great deal. I felt God was distant and I was not experiencing His peace.
I was praying and pondering over this and it was during the night, when I couldn’t sleep, that I felt the Lord revealed to me a better understanding of what it means to carry our crosses and not to reject them.
What does carrying your cross mean to you?
What the spirit revealed to me, during those early hours of the morning, was that it is about acceptance. Being accepting of the battles that come our way in life and not to be afraid of them; as believers, to put on the armour of God. (Ephesians 6.12)
This may seem like nothing new to you but I had to honestly ask myself, am I willing to accept the unloving or unacceptable things that are going on around me that I cannot control? Am I willing to accept and surrender? To acknowledge my own responsibility in the attitudes I have around these challenges I continue to face in life?
The answer was no I wasn’t. I was rejecting all that didn’t feel good, and I didn’t want any of it, but this non-acceptance was a weight on my soul, bringing everything with it but peace.
As a believer in the living God, I am asked to pick up my cross and follow Him. It’s not easy but what other choice do I have? Do I run myself into ruin and chaos trying to figure it all out, or do I sit and meet with myself and my creator and run with it, allowing it to take its course. To trust. Be accepting of it, regardless of how it makes me feel?
It’s a hard one but this is what He asks me to do.
What if we accepted our crosses and continually said –
“Okay God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference”.
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus in the Mel Gibson film “The Passion”, once said to an audience he was speaking to that we must pick up our cross or we will be crushed by the weight of it.
This really spoke to me.
How about you?
I want to be able to stand firm when the battles come, but I know that it is in leaning into Jesus that I will not be crushed by the weight of my own cross.
– To let go of the chaos, disarray and discontentment of this world and not to invest emotion over stuff outwith of my control, and ultimately acknowledge God is sovereign – no matter what.
In 1 Deuteronomy 31.6, the writer tells us:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Now there’s a promise!
Learning not to be crushed by the weight of my own cross is something I will continually battle while I live this earthly life. But I know that this learning will bring with it a greater meaning to not being of this world, and what it means to be His. (John 8.23).
So will you accept your Cross?
Have a blessed day,
©Carol J. Kelso.