Tailor-Made Crosses

Tailor Made Crosses

Whether we are weighed down by our own cross or the infirmities of our sins, or even the infection of the burdens of others, the source of our healing is always from Jesus Christ.

And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

– Luke 9:23

Jesus does not tell his listeners to pick up a cross, as though the nature of the cross we bear is without consideration. Rather He tells them to take up their cross. The only conclusion is the cross is uniquely designed for each and every one of us.

We might presume the circumstances of our lives are mere accidents, events that happen by chance or without any apparent or deliberate cause. How depressing that would be.

But thankfully, this is not the case.

For thou didst form my inward parts,
    thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful.[a]
    Wonderful are thy works!
Thou knowest me right well;
   my frame was not hidden from thee,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance;
    in thy book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

– Psalm 139:13-16

God has a very unique and individual plan for each of our lives. All our days are already determined, even before they begin. This in no way diminishes our human freedom; it simply acknowledges God’s omnipotence – His capacity for seeing and knowing the events of all time before they ever happen.

This individual design also pertains to the crosses we carry in life. Each of our crosses are tailor-made for our unique circumstances and the events we will encounter in life. Our cross is our individual source of salvation, not because we carry it, but because Christ carried it first.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

– 1 Peter 2:24

So then, what is the benefit of our individual cross?

It conforms us to the image of Christ.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.

– Romans 8:29

Needless to say, God would not leave such an important matter to mere happenstance or chance. He takes great care in fashioning all the elements of the individual cross we each bear throughout our lives. Our cross is for us.

As a result, we should never seek to reduce the burden of our individual cross by forgoing our responsibilities or impatiently enduring our shortcomings. These are the very instruments of our salvation, and they bring about our healing.

We should also never desire to have been given someone else’s cross. Another person’s cross  was designed for him or her. This simple fact alone, when fully grasped, should allow us to put an end to a constant stream of speculation or even wishful thinking about why we might not have been given another person’s difficulties in life – difficulties we might see as lighter than our own.

How often might we find ourselves dwelling on why we were forced to carry a particular burden in life, when so many others were not weighed down by the same challenge? The simple answer, whether we choose to accept it or not, is that God precisely measured out the length and weight of the cross we must carry in life, and its design is perfectly tailored to allow us to receive His gift of salvation.

There are, however, two variables associated with the length and weight of our individual crosses. These help explain some of the perceived variations in the different crosses we see.

The first variable is one we can control. It is our individual sin, which always adds to our burden.

For my iniquities have gone over my head;
    they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.

– Psalm 38:4

The second variable that affects the length and weight of the burden of our cross is the sometimes-painful experience of the uncharitable things done to us by others. Other wounded souls will often try to lighten the load of their own cross by sharing it with us. God knows this, and He offers help in the form of grace, if we ask for it in prayer.

Regardless of the nature of the burden of our cross, the strength for bearing it is always the same.

Cast your burden on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved.

– Psalm 55:22

Whether we are weighed down by our own cross or the infirmities of our sins, or even the infection of the burdens of others, the source of our healing is always from Jesus Christ.

This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.”

– Matthew 8:17

Copyright © Deacon Mark Danis

Image credit: Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Please help spread the Gospel. Share this article with family and friends on Facebook and other social media.

Please help us. We strive to operate on a very small budget, but we need your help. Both one-time and monthly donations are welcome. Just $10 a month will help cover the cost.

Print this entry