The Ultimate Gain for the Ultimate Loss

This morning I sat in my usual spot by the window in the living room of my wonderful apartment. Beyond the glass, the flowers in my balcony garden are blooming—including a beautiful while flower that just opened since yesterday. The birds are happily feeding at the bird feeder. The sun is shining and all is replete in my world.

Missionaries are supposed to be suffering for the sake of the Gospel. Any suffering I do is slight. I am doing what I enjoy in a relatively safe and pleasant environment. As the psalmist writes: "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance" (Psalm 16:6). I am grateful.

I read this morning's verses, and wonder. Jesus said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it" —Matthew 16:24, 25, NIV, emphasis mine.

MY cross?

By definition, a cross is an onerous thing, an instrument of cruelty and suffering. But though there are things and people I have "denied" myself in service to the Lord all these years, this is no murderous weight I carry.

I wonder if I've missed something.

Then I think about that last phrase: "…but whoever loses his life for me will find it." This "cross" I assume for Him, at whatever cost to myself, gives life rather than taking it. I appreciate that, though my "cross" is physically and materially pleasant right now, things could change. Giving over my life to Christ means relinquishing control of what direction that life might take and what circumstances might accompany it.

But one thing is sure, for whatever cross-bearing costs me, losing my life in Him can only result in receiving a much better one.

Comments

  1. What an excellent reminder that "our cross" can and likely will change, but we can still trust. Beautiful, Lynda

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