Below in red are my Aunt Betty’s words to me when I was grumbling over a cross I was asked to carry. She helped me see that by embracing my cross for love of Jesus, I would be loving Him through loving another person and shouldering some of their cross. She also reminded me of the importance of focus. It’s best, in times like these, to say, “Lord, show me the good that you intend to come out of this.” He is always seeking our good in every situation, and He can use our trials to bring about a great good, if we don’t rebel and grumble. As we nearly reach the halfway point in Lent, may we continue to persevere and not lose heart when we are called to be a Simon in carrying the cross with Jesus.
The Lord knows exactly what cross is best for you. You just have to trust. It’s hard. The enemy always wants to get us to rebel. So, we have to stand alert to that. Say, “Lord, please don’t let me miss the good that you intend to come out of this,” because then we can get focused in the right direction. I think part of the reason the enemy tries to shove us into rebellion is he doesn’t want us to get the good that God intends to come out of our carrying that particular cross. If we rebel, we don’t get the good.
We’re all asked to be Simon in some way and help carry the cross of Jesus. When we rebel over the particular cross that God chose for us, we’re in trouble. I think it’d be good during Lent to do a meditation on your Simon and think about when you get pulled into helping a person you don’t know, and when you have to do something you didn’t plan.
If you look at Simon, basically it’s saying that at any minute, God can pull us out of our intended project for that day, and throw something else up. Just imagine Simon being grabbed and pushed to help this unknown man they’re going to execute. Put yourself in that. What are you feeling? You go through all you have to do. You notice how you’re reacting and how you’re handling that. You realize that in your daily life, God can bring up these situations. Jesus is falling under the cross. There’s someone else’s cross that they’re having difficulty carrying, and how do you react? When we get those interruptions, we don’t think, “Here’s my chance to help Jesus with the cross.” Instead we go into grumbling, and we miss the opportunity that God is giving us in the moment in the person’s need.
If this is Christ in this, watch how you’re reacting. These old meditations help you to face some of your junk. It’s a way of entering into the meditation yourself.