Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "For All The Saints"1 (Lyrics)
John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (NKJV)
Some years ago, we were in a church where a young couple gave a report about the situation they were in. They had two children, the youngest one only two months old. When he was born, they discovered that he had trouble breathing, due to an excess of mucus. The doctors inserted some tubes to alleviate the problem. After a month, he was allowed to go home, but someone had to suck the mucus out of his windpipe every hour on the hour. His mother did this, spelled off by her husband and someone from the church. They told the congregation that they wondered why this would happen to them. "Why do we have to carry this cross?" she asked.
Likewise, I am sure that Simon of Cyrene, who was not involved in anything to do with the crucifixion of Jesus, wondered why he — out of all that crowd of onlookers — was chosen to carry Jesus' cross. For the Good Friday service at the local Long Term Care Centre, I used the story of Simon of Cyrene as the basis for the message.
Mark 15:21 – Then they [the Roman soldiers] compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. (NKJV)
Many of us have a cross to bear. We all know of people who have to care for a loved one, sometimes for months or years. For some of us, there is the cross of ill health or old age or both. Some of us carry the cross of the loss of a loved one, be it recently or a long time ago. Yet others carry the cross of having to cope with situations totally out of their control. Some of the people in the congregation at that Good Friday service know that better than others. I'm sure that some of them wonder why. Some of them even say to me in confidence, "Why did this have to happen to me?" And so often we wonder, "Why do I have to carry this cross?"
And then, we hear Jesus' voice speak through all our problems:
Matthew 11:28-29 – Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. (GNT)
Jesus will help us carry our cross.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are so many times when we wonder why certain things happen to us or to someone near and dear to us. We pray for those who have to carry such heavy crosses, and we ask that You will comfort them and give them patience and peace in their hearts. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.