I saw a funny meme on Facebook this morning with a picture of Kermit the Frog picking up a phone that read, “Hello, may I please speak with Jesus? ‘Cause these folks over here gonna make me break at least 4 of the Ten Commandments.” I had to laugh because, really, don’t we all have days like that? I know I do. And sometimes it’s certain people that get under my skin at those moments, and I know that the best thing I can do is just hold my peace, or step back and realizing I am giving others way too much control of my emotions.
I know that’s the best thing to do, but often what happens in reality is that I let my emotions get the best of me, and I snap and say something I don’t mean, that I need forgiveness for afterward.
I’m still working on Jesus’ command where He tells us, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23) NIV. Denying self does not come easy. In fact, I believe selfishness is one of the biggest obstacles we (I) face. However, the Word also tells us in Philippians 4:13 that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (NKJV).”
Therein I believe lies the answer in taking up the cross. The fact that it’s only possible through His strength means I need His help daily, or my self will get in the way of what He wants me to do.
What does carrying your cross mean? I believe it’s different for each of us. For some, it may mean carrying the burden of physical disability, others it may mean putting a career aside to engage in missions, for many it may mean relying on His strength to overcome an addiction, and continuing to rely on His strength to fight the temptations that come when you do.
Beyond the “majors” in our lives, I believe it means taking His yoke upon us when things get too heavy to bear alone and learning from Him (Matthew 11:28-29). He promises His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
“Lord, today please bless those who are reading this, and help us to sit at Your feet and learn from You, about what it means to deny our self, our selfish nature, and to take up our cross and follow You. Teach us what it means to love fully, to have faith and courage in the place of the fear so often prevalent today, and to be servants like You. It is not in our power to do this on our own, but I thank You that we don’t have to, and that You will never leave or forsake us. Help us to glorify You in word and deed, Lord. It’s in the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.”