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I can strongly relate to this journey. Can you?
I’ve had this distant connection between my disease and the Cross of Jesus. (Pain is all too good at creating distance 😦 ) Their relationship (the Cross and the guard) seemed mere acquaintance at best. I don’t believe God gave me ALS. I do believe God shoulders the brunt weight of the load. This moving illustration “connected the dots” about my duty and obedience within. 🙂 I felt His personal request to hold my disease from His Cross perspective. (The choice here is to carry the worldly pain or hold the entrusted privilege of guarding my post at His Cross.) Their relationship embraced the intimacy of close friends, re-united. “Can you hold this cross for a while, Tracey? I’ll be back love.” He asked. So I see myself as we did some directing toward “loyalty” while marriage and parenting continued “normally.”
Things have changed now, hurricane force winds blow and rain beats down with steel-like pellets. No more “directing ” here, putting every ounce of effort in keeping it upright. Their relationship is strained to a breaking point. Then I see him face down. The Cross fallen. I am really seeing myself there. My heart breaks. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve left my guard post, collapsed in exhaustion and/or grief.
I “wake up” stunned. I see the cross laying fallen. I remember a faint sense of duty. I’ve got to pick up the conviction of privilege before I can rise and pick up the shared suffering of the Cross. I do pick up the cross of my disease to begin the cycle again. (I can even relate to the bad hair day.) Their relationship is restored. When The Lord says,”You must have been through so much. . .” I just melt and start pouring out all my woes.” Thank God for the pervasive grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior.
We’ve all have crosses to bear. Each cross-bearing circumstance is unique and the person’s tolerance is different based on many determining factors. Today’s manna moment normalizes our humanity and glorifies the divinity of Christ. At some point we may “direct” with a smile only later to collapse. Only Christ can hold the weight of the Cross. But we are exposed to the suffering of the Cross to teach us our weakness and the supremity of His strength. In the process of carrying our own Cross we learn things about ourselves and our Lord, without which, we would never have the intimate knowledge of the holding empowerment with the Cross.