–Begin by taking some deep breaths. As you breath you can begin to clear your mind.
- Breath in by saying or thinking “Jesus”
- Breath out by saying or thinking “Is with me”
-continue this breathing exercise until you feel you are ready to continue.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”Matthew 16:24-26
In Roman times, when Jesus was on the Earth, the cross was not something a person would willingly carry. It was forced on them. The soldiers would make someone carry their own cross, and that person knew at the end of the road they would be nailed to that cross to die. They were forced to bring what was going to kill them to the place of their death.
Jesus told them to be his disciples they must be willing to “take up their cross and follow him (me).” Jesus did not ask them to take up their cross and go to their death without him. Jesus was going before them into the unknown. Jesus was not like a Roman soldier who forced the prisoner to carry their cross. Jesus gave them a choice, and showed them the path to follow.
Like the Roman prisoners, our burden is forced upon us at times. It can be health issues, relationship problems, concern for someone we love, or much more. Jesus promises that he has went before us. Jesus does not ask us to carry a cross that he has not already bore. What a wonderful promise!!
There are other times our burden is something God is asking of us. It could be to give something up, to take on a new challenge, or something different. God does ask us to do things that are hard for us to imagine, but we know it is what God has called us to do.
- What is God calling you to do?
- What cross is forced upon you?
- Envision Jesus walking before you. Leading the way.
-Pick one of the options above. You might want to journal a response, or just sit and soak in the presence of God-
– Take some deep breaths-
- Breath in: “Jesus lead me”
- Breath out: “I will follow”
Jesus, thank you for going before us into the unknown. There is uncertainty all around us, and we are glad you are with us through it all. Continue to lead us on the path that you would have us to take. Amen