Press in to the Cross

“So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross…” Jn 19:17

My husband and I have a silly little tradition. When he gets home from work, I do my best to drop what I am doing and meet him at the door, ambush style usually. I get him to the couch as quickly as possible so I can make up for all the hugs I have missed during our day apart at work. I snuggle in close and wiggle in a ridiculous fashion in attempts to get as close as physically possible to the other half of my heart. He always looks at me with those giant blue eyes that made him mine in the first place and calls me silly, but I know he secretly loves it.

The other day at a staff meeting at my school one of my fellow teachers, honestly, one of my mentors, mentioned our collective desire to “press in close to Christ” in order that we might know him, know his will and gain some of his infinite wisdom in our teaching. I instantly thought of mine and my husband’s silly tradition of snuggling in as close as possible. Pressing in to each other.

Oh Lord that my heart would desire to press in to you in that same way. To be as close as possible to my God. To know him that intimately, that closely.

As she prayed, the air was heavy and quiet with the Holy Spirit’s presence. We noticed the noise of the thousands of cars flowing by on the highway. Rushing and struggling, desperate to do something worthwhile in the world. Pursuing a purpose of which they know not. As I listened my heart prayed without my mind’s permission. Lord! If you would just take my fear away, I could fulfill my purpose! The chronic pain you are calling me to bear makes serving you too hard! I cannot teach well because I have chronic fatigue. My cross is too heavy to bear!

There are crosses we are called to bear, crosses that push us deep, that cause us to bend low under the weight. “Lord, this is hard, we need your help” As we are pressed down low we are being pressed into the broad breast of our Lord. The crosses we are chosen to bear however, we are not to bear alone. With the help of our Lord, slowly we become stronger and braver as the hard makes us holy. The cross I carry is the one I need to die on.

“And he said to all, if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Lk. 9:24

“For there to be a fruitful life, there must be a selfless death.” –Brian Trainer

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