What does it really mean to embrace the cross? It's a question I've been pondering lately. And the answers that I have found have shocked me. It's now an experience I crave.
Embrace means: to take or clasp in the arms, press to the heart; to receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly.
Cross means: the cross upon which Jesus died; any suffering endured for Jesus' sake; opposition, thwarting of plans, frustration, any misfortune or trouble.
Some of those definitions really surprised me. Because when I put the definitions of these words together, I found the definition of embracing the cross: to gladly or eagerly accept frustrating circumstances. To willingly accept thwarted plans. To clasp trouble with both arms. To press opposition and misfortune to the heart. To eagerly receive the cross on which Jesus died. To gladly and willingly accept any suffering for Jesus sake.
In the last four months I have been learning what this means practically. Leaving wonderful friends in Montana, giving up our beautiful home in the mountains to live in a fifth wheel and know hardly a soul in the area has not been a bed of roses. There have been many opportunities to clasp trouble with both arms; days where I have wished that I could go back. And there have been many chances to accept frustrating circumstances. I'm remembering the time I opened the stuffed kitchen cupboard only to have a box of oats fall out, hit me on the head, bounce off the counter, and spill out all over the floor. And then just minutes later to have the raisin bran fall out, only to add to the mess on the floor :) I remember too, the days I would get up and plan to get a lot of school done, but get to the end of the day feeling like I hadn't accomplished a thing. Four people trying to concentrate on four different projects in a camper sized living room. I'm smiling now, sitting in our new home, enjoying the space, the feeling of walking half a mile to get to the kitchen, the amazing thought that I have a whole room to myself to sleep and work in.
And yet, I wouldn't trade the last four months for anything in the world. He has taught me so much. So Jesus, if you need to take me away from my friends, and my home and put me in a camper again, I'll go. My longing is to learn that the greatest joy and privilege on earth is-- embracing the cross.
Jesus keep me near the cross,
Let me grasp it tightly
Though it cause me pain and tears
Victory it bringeth!
Worth the pain of loss or grief,
Is the strength it gives me!
I have grasped the bloodstained tree
Following where it leads me.
I will ever trust Your hands
Hands that grasped before me
The blessed tree of suffering
And thus went before me.
20. Lover of Jesus. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Servant. Fan of the kitchen. Graduate of Masters of Biblical Counseling.
Follow this Blog
Follow Me on Google+
Hands Open. Heart Full.