Pick Up Your Cross
Following God isn’t easy. Woah now, slam on the air brakes. You thought when you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior that you’d get a mansion on Easy Street? Somebody somewhere lied to you.
Pulling out of my grandparents’ house today was pretty emotional. We stayed almost a week for Christmas and it was so awesome for everyone to be together under one roof. I believe it was Shakespeare who said, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” He couldn’t be more on target. I was ok until Papa squeezed me tighter than he ever has and started crying on my shoulder. And I lost it.
I know without a doubt we are living and breathing the perfect will of God for our lives. God called us to tend and love His sheep almost 12 hours away from home. I’ve been totally ok with this. I have fallen in love with Florida.
That is, until we come back and visit family. Saying goodbye isn’t easy, especially when you know it will be months before you get to smell your dad’s cologne again and see your brother’s no-shave-November face. Or taste your granny’s amazing cooking. Or watch your kids interact with your sweet papa.
When Jesus called the disciples, they were ordinary men working average jobs. They weren’t super spiritual, bible thumping, seminary graduated scholars. Many were fishermen. Yet they were beckoned by the Messiah to pick up their cross and follow Him.
Many times I think we get confused by this concept. Picking up our cross and following Him doesn’t mean we are frolicking and skipping half-heartedly behind Him. See, when Abraham was told to sacrifice his promised son, he wasn’t on the fence with his relationship with God. He had surrendered his life completely to God and was willing to do whatever He asked – even when it hurt.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so in love with what God is doing in our life. He’s taken us to a beautiful place that has such a vast field to be harvested. We love our church and our teens so deeply. I know we’re in the right place.
The funny thing about God is He knows where you’re comfortable and He knows that sometimes you have to be uprooted and replanted where you can grow. My prayer for over a year now has been, “God, wherever… however… wherever… whenever… And with whoever… God, just use us…” Well my darling, when you pray those things with a sincere heart, our Father hears us and is so willing to answer. But you need to prepare yourself for His response.
If you’ve been searching for the master plan and blue prints for your life, let me ask you. Have you been praying your will or His? Are you seeking your own dreams and goals or the direction God is leading you? He’ll gently tug at your heart. He’ll pursue you and woo you. But He won’t beg. He’s a gentleman and He’s sovereign.
He will give us the desires of our hearts, but we need to make sure we’re desiring the things of God. Matthew 6:9-13 gives us a model, almost a top secret formula, of how we should pray. We need to pray that His will and His kingdom are glorified. It may not be His will for us to attend that 4 year university in Tennessee to obtain a degree in teaching. He may have other plans.
Are you comfortable and settled in? Or miserable and waiting? Well, watch out honey. God is calling you. The million dollar question is – are you willing to pick up your cross and follow the King of Kings? Live life on the wild side and walk by faith. He has fully equipped you for this journey.
P.S. The right road and the easy road aren’t always the same road.
P.P.S. I believe in you. 🙂
Living Life Unscripted,