I USED TO THINK taking up my cross meant dealing with my personal struggles. And it does, but that’s just part of it.
Why did our Lord take up his cross?
If I can answer that question, then I begin to understand what it means to take up my own cross. Jesus took up his cross to give his life. He carried his cross to die on it.
Why? To give humankind, all of us, abundant life.
So yes, taking up my cross means facing my responsibilities. That can be a huge task sometimes. How many times do I want to run away? How often do I seek to soothe the pain with things that don’t help me at all? I don’t want to carry my cross. I don’t want to face the cold, crude reality.
But born of the cross of Christ, I can hoist mine. As I know what Jesus means to me, I can walk in that place where the Lord is my strength.
When the chips are down, and life tries to suffocate me, if I go to God, he delivers. He helps me Every. Single. Time. It’s not because I’m special. It’s simply because God is good.
Why should the Creator of the universe even care about me at all? It goes beyond just help with everyday life. God the Father sent his Son on a mission to save me, a tiny dot of flesh on a clot of dirt in his vast universe.
The abundance of God’s infinite love — the same love that created the sun, stars, galaxies and our earth — all for me.
This level of love is unreal. It’s heavenly. It’s supernatural.
Suddenly, all things take on a new perspective. God gave his Son for me. I have sons too. If I stop to think about the depth of love, pain and suffering involved in giving up a beloved child for my sins, then it must impact me deeply.
This love astounds me. Every cell in my body cries out, “Yes! That is the love I need to thrive.”
So I’m less afraid to face my life, even my own miseries, no matter how difficult. Upon knowing Christ, he frees me to live my life. In my weakness, in my hunger and thirst, he makes me strong.
And as his disciple, I must take up my cross to die on it too, like Jesus. I must die unto myself. Why? To give more than I possibly could on my own.
This is the miracle of abundance in the Lord. When you realize how much he loves you, then you welcome him into your interior life. And from there, he continues to give through you and others like you who have been given their lives back.
He shows you how to die unto yourself, to let your fears, insecurities and selfishness die. When you let go of control, you let Christ be expressed in you and through you. I could never, ever in a million years do this alone. His Spirit enables us.
God gives abundantly to every member of his Body. And together, we can give so much more.
Let in the abundance of the Lord. Be fed with the Bread of Life.
Take up your cross and crucify those things that hold you back.
Then rise with Jesus Christ.
You have so much to give. Believe it.
Be part of the Body that gives abundant life. Be part of the miracle of God.
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
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