Then Jesus said to all , "If anyone wishes to come after me he must
first deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow
me " Luke 9:23
My mother is a wise Christian woman. She used to say "I don't mind the cross so much, it's the darn splinters that bother me." This was one of those weeks where I knew what I had to do. I knew that I had to deny myself in order to get what needed to be done, done, and I was willing to do it. I had to do a lot of other people's work, because they were away, and I was willing to do it, because that is the nature of the ministry I have, we all pitch in to make sure that things get done. But, while I was trying to make sure that things ran smoothly there sure were a lot of splinters along the way. My feelings got hurt more than a time or two, and I had to give up some things that I really enjoy in order to respect other people whose needs or wishes had to come first.
I suppose if I had done all of those things without writing about them here they might be more like treasures stored up for me in heaven. It isn't as though I am trying to boast about all I have had to endure in my walk with Jesus this week. I just wanted to share that we all struggle with the splinters when we take up the cross. Being a mature Christian means that no matter how annoying the splinters get, you still take up that darn cross and carry it. And, knowing that the same splinters, or even new ones will be there tomorrow, you are willing to take up the cross again.
An interesting thing happened this week. Amidst all the chaos that swirled around me, there was a sense of such peace. I knew that no matter how crazy things got I had a promise that could never be taken away from me. Romans 8:28 was my promise:
For I know that all things work for good for those who love the Lord and
are called according to His purpose.
I certainly do love the Lord, more than my life itself, and this week I was called according to His purpose, because I wasn't doing anything I wanted to do. Almost every time I started to do something I wanted to do I would be called upon to do something that was in God's greater plan for the universe than my little area covered. I never really felt as though I was being shortchanged though, because even when things felt really overwhelming there was a real sense of peace. God was in control, and eventually the Son would shine in my world again.
I hope my sharing this will help someone else who has a splintery week of their own.