'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Why can’t others understand what you are going through? Why can’t others empathize with you in your circumstances, difficulties, troubles and trials?
We are tempted to wonder at times if there is anyone in the whole wide world who would understand, even if we tried to explain it all. Most of the time perhaps, we prefer not to explain or to tell anyone - except God, hopefully. Even when we do try to share a difficult situation, we can get a gaze that tempts us to want to ask, "is there anyone there"? Does anyone know what I’m talking about, or understands what I‘m going through...?
It is a rare thing, a Christians who can really identify with another's trial, except in very general terms. This should not be so, but there are reasons, when it is so. Many different answers would undoubtedly be given in response to these questions. Of course under the circumstances described, it is the cross-bearer and God. And that would be enough - if it were His will for it to be so.
A Christian’s troubles and trials may be similar, but each of us carries a cross that has been designed just for us. In each life of the child of God a cross is also born. It is one that must be carried - regardless of who knows about it, or sees it, or understands it (Luke 9:23). The type and shape of each cross is adjusted to each individual. All circumstances of our lives are different. They are different because we are all different. It seems for some that their cross came, already laid upon their shoulder the day they were physically born. This was so with the man Jesus and the disciples encountered who was born blind (John 9:1-7). His cross of blindness was removed by Jesus. But his cross was preordained by God for a great purpose. This cross was removed, but others would follow. Today some of God’s people are born into and positioned into lives that others do not and cannot comprehend except as the Holy Spirit enables. Sometimes, however, we believe there is no one experiencing what we are, when there are others in very similar settings that we are not aware of. Often we are fearful of sharing because our circumstances seem so embarrasing, shameful, or incriminating to us. This should not need to be, but it often is. Oh what a price we are sometimes willing to pay for our pride!
Our particular cross (or crosses) can seem so heavy and debilitating that they can drive us into isolation - the very opposite of what is really needed, but sometimes we believe it cannot be avoided. The man born blind was born into a world that very few had experienced - and that very few could experience. He could not avoid the cross he had to bare. But Jesus knew the purpose for it all. He was able to fulfill a divine purpose and remove his cross at the same time. Some crosses should be shared only with our Savior perhaps, but it is a great and wonderful blessing if we are able to allow others to help us carry it - even if it only for a little while, and a little distance. Jesus had one who help Him, even though he was forced to do so (Mark 15:20-21).
We cannot force another to help us bear our cross, but Jesus can lead someone to do so.There can be a "Simon" in your life at the time when yours seems unbearable. It has been so for this writer. It can be so for you. Every time we intercede in prayer for another, we help them bear their cross - and when they pray for us, they help carry our cross. Intercessory prayer brings no shame, no self-incrimination, does not threaten pride. It is the "cross" of first resort, that we should help each other carry. We are called to share each others cross (Galatians 6:2; Romans 15:1).
Your cross - my cross - every Christian’s cross was designed long ago just for each of us. It was made to fit each of us individually. It cannot be born by another. But as with all things in Christ, it was intended to be shared. Ask God to give you someone to share, to care, and to help you carry your cross. Until then, rise up under the cross of someone else, and help make their burden a little lighter. In doing so, along with Simon we share in carrying the cross of Jesus. We are participants in His cross. Then we will also participate in His resurrection. Then we will share in His life.
At the resurrection, Jesus may say to you, "You helped others carry their cross. It was also mine...we helped you carry yours"!
Can you share the cross today?...
"Someone to share, Someone to care - like no Other can do!" - (Hymn)
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