I think part of the appeal of these articles is that we all can relate to our fears, failures, and struggles. Sometimes life is akin to maintain your balance on a slippery deck. Sometimes that light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train. I have had days when the troubles of life hit me the moment my feet touch the floor. It is during those times that I fully understand what it is like to be caught in a storm too long. I long for rays of sunlight to peak through my cloud-filled days. When I am going through difficult times, I ask God to help me to learn what I need to learn, so that I can be delivered from it as soon as possible. I don’t want to contribute or prolong my tribulation. Whenever I start thinking about having a pity party or start comparing my unfair life to someone else, I am reminded of a story about a man who could endure his hardship no longer and decided to take his cross back to God.
The man drags the cross into the throne room of God. His legs seem to buckle under the weight as he struggles to place one foot ahead of the other. As he takes the measured baby steps he rotates the cross from his left shoulder to his right and then back again. He is certain that he will perish at any moment from the constant pressure of this situation. This is why he is there to exchange this cross for something he can carry. “God, this cross is too heavy,” he stated. The cross slides off of his shoulder and crashes to the floor as he concludes this statement.
God looks over both the man and the cross, and after a moment, He tells him to go and find another cross. The man cannot believe his ears. He has carried that cross for so long that for the moment he feels weightless. He thanks God over and over as he starts looking around the room for his new cross.
The room is filled with them. Some are short but very thick, while others are long with their tops reaching through the ceiling of the room. Because he believes this is a one-time deal and the memory of his old cross is still too fresh, he takes his time. He goes from room to room, and the longer it takes, the more discouraged he becomes.
Just when it feels certain that he cannot find a cross, he notices one across the room. It isn’t too wide or too tall or too long. He lifts it on his shoulder, and although it is difficult, he believes he can carry it. He smiles to himself as he informs God that this is the cross he can carry.
“My son, that is the cross you carried in here,” God replied. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
No one has a monopoly on sorrow. At some point and time, we all have endured the storms of life. I am persuaded that the most important thing to remember is God’s faithfulness
He has promised to never leave nor forsake us. He has promised to be a very present help in the time of trouble. He has promised to be our strong tower and our shield. It is during those times of despair that we must look to God, because all our help comes from Him. I am thankful that He knows you and I, and how much we all can bear.