“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). The key word here is “daily.” As someone has noted, the problem of life is that it is so daily.
Several years ago I read about a distinguished Christian leader who made the following observation near the end of his career. When he was a young man, dreaming of doing great exploits for God, he offered himself unreservedly to serve Jesus. “I’ll go wherever you want me to go, Lord. I will sacrifice whatever you ask from me.” Like most young people, he saw his life as an exciting adventure. Perhaps he would serve the Lord overseas, or perhaps he would be given some great mountain to climb for God.
When he was much older, he had a different perspective. “I see now that when I talked about ’laying all on the altar,’ I thought of my life as being like $1000 and I was going to give it all for the Lord. But that’s not how it worked out. The Lord never said, ’Give me the $1000 and I’ll spend it in some great enterprise.’ Instead it was $5 here and $10 there, a little bit of time and life expended in many ways, until at last the bank of my life was almost empty.”
That’s exactly the way it will be for most of us. If you think missionary life is glamorous, it’s only because you’ve never been a missionary. It’s all the stuff of life the rest of us go through plus a lot of extra aggravations caused by living in a different culture. No one who follows Christ escapes the “dailyness” of the cross.
Jesus talked a lot about simple things–baking bread, serving a meal, planting seed, holding a baby, going to the market, greeting a stranger, helping the sick, and offering a cup of cold water in his name.
Nothing fancy about that.
A dollar here, a dollar there.
Out of such small daily investments our life is spent. If we spend it well, little bit by little bit, daily doing whatever needs to be done, we prove that we are true disciples of Christ.
It isn’t fancy or beautiful nor will the world notice what we do, but God sees and smiles when his children daily bear their cross, following Jesus wherever he leads.
So let us not complain, Lord, about the path
before us. Erase from our hearts the need to do something we think is
“great” for you. Grant that we might be ready to take up our cross
daily and follow you gladly. Amen.
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