‘Let him…take up his cross daily…’ (Luke 9:23 NKJ) ‘The load I give you to carry is light’. (Matthew 11:30 NCV) Both sentences passed through the mouth of Jesus. But isn’t He contradicting Himself? I mean, ‘cross-carrying’ is back-breaking work, isn’t it? Unless You’re about to give us a polystyrene cross, surely the load You give us is one famed for dislocating your shoulder, right, Lord?
Well, no. It’s a perspective thing. If you think of God as dishing out crosses like a needle-happy nurse dishes out pain so no-one wants their jab but everyone gets one, then you’re in trouble. If we see ‘difficult maths homework’ or ‘the mate who’s always draining me’ as ‘the cross we have to bear’, is it any wonder our load feels far from light? What if you saw that ‘difficult maths homework’, not as a headache, but an opportunity to develop your problem solving skills? What if that ‘moaning mate’ wasn’t the person you hid from at break, but someone who you can see the face of Jesus in?
Taking up your cross doesn’t mean taking the weight of the world on your shoulders. It simply means taking on Jesus’ attitude to everything. So, rather than beg God to send a bolt of lightning up that ‘pain in the neck’ of a pal, ask God for a new perspective. Stop asking for a lighter cross and start praying for a stronger back.
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