Mark 8:34 "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me."
There is a lovely legend which says that Jesus and His father had a sign in front of their carpenter shop with this inscription: "Our yokes fit." To avoid being rubbed sore, it was important that the neck of the ox and the yoke be perfectly fitted to each other.
There is a lesson here for us. God perfectly fits our crosses to us. The cross of a Christian is spoken of as his or her cross. No one can bear our cross for us. Parents cannot carry the crosses of their children, nor should they want to. In His wisdom and love God has prepared a cross for His children in keeping with their need. Without that cross life would be near to God.
There is sweet comfort in knowing this, especially when our cross becomes heavy. God never expects us to bear a strange cross. He will give us a cross neither too heavy nor too light. It will be so perfectly fitted to our need that it can belong to us only.
Now we can be sure that crosses that burden us will become wings that lift us. There will be no unnecessary tears. The love that delivered us from death will discipline us unto life. That's God's way, and it's the best way.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to know that our crosses are for our good. Help us bear them in faith, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996, Concordia Publishing House (out of print). For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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