And when they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, as he was coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus. Luke 23:26
Sometimes, without permission, you and I may be forced to do something very unpleasant, difficult, and humiliating. That’s rare. It happens. Life contains trials for all people, Christians and unbelievers alike. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. But, when, out of obedience to Jesus’ teachings or from your affiliation with Him, you suffer- that is akin to ‘cross carrying’. It is by choice. It will occur if you are ‘godly’ (all those that live godly live in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution). On the day that Jesus was to carry His cross to the hillside called Golgotha, Simon appeared to have no choice, but to carry the cross. You and I do have that choice daily!
Aiden W. Tozer wrote these insightful words: The spiritual man wants to carry his cross. Many Christians accept adversity or tribulation with a sigh and call it their cross, forgetting that such things come alike to saint and sinner. The cross is that extra adversity that comes to us as a result of our obedience to Christ. This cross is not forced upon us; we voluntarily take it up with full knowledge of the consequences. We choose to obey Christ and by so doing choose to carry the cross. Carrying a cross means to be attached to the Person of Christ, committed to the Lordship of Christ and obedient to the commandments of Christ. The man who is so attached, so committed, so obedient is a spiritual man. Again, a Christian is spiritual when he sees everything from God’s viewpoint. The ability to weigh all things in the divine scale and place the same value upon them as God does is the mark of a Spirit-filled life. God looks at and through at the same time. His gaze does not rest on the surface but penetrates to the true meaning of things. The carnal Christian looks at an object or a situation, but because he does not see through it he is elated or cast down by what he sees. The spiritual man is able to look through things as God looks and think of them as God thinks. He insists on seeing all things as God sees them even if it humbles him and exposes his ignorance to the point of real pain.
Am I resolved that I will take up my cross daily? How is my attitude in normal trials? How will it be when I actually carry a cross?
God, as this day begins- Would you continue to do the work in me, so that I might be prepared for all You would allow in my life. I desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus. So, I must be prepared for suffering and cross carrying. Help me today, to reach out and love people in Your name.