“You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross.” – MercyMe, Dear Younger Me
This line strikes home for me every time I hear it. Because I look back at things that I know I shouldn’t have carried beyond the cross and see the pain it brought and the problems it caused.
I think to some extent all of us have things that we try to carry beyond the cross.
We talk about turning things over to Jesus. We nod confidently and agree there is nothing that He can’t carry for us.
But still there are things we try to carry ourselves. We plant our feet firmly, heave it up on our shoulders, and trudge forward, one laborious step at a time.
Maybe it’s because we feel like it’s not something that’s worthy of turning over to God – it’s too trivial to bother Him with.
Or maybe it’s too ugly and we don’t want to expose it to our relationship with Him – like somehow revealing the thing (which He already knows about) will somehow taint His impression of us.
Or maybe someone has convinced us that God’s grace doesn’t quite cover that.
But Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
He didn’t say “all who labor and are heavy laden with big things.” Or “all who labor and are heavy laden unless your burden crosses this line.” He said “all.”
So no matter the size, shape, appearance, or form of your burden, bring it to Him. You were never meant to carry it beyond the cross.
Alcoholism? Bring it. Pornography? Bring it. Unwanted homosexual desires? Bring it. Bad temper? Bring it. Guilt from a painful past? Bring it. Hurt caused by someone else? Bring it. Drug problems, gambling addictions, trust issues, gossip, hate, lying, cheating, jealousy, judgmentalism – whatever form your flaw or your struggle takes…bring it to His cross.
And leave it there. Don’t carry it one step further.
When we try to carry it ourselves, bigger problems result. Struggles become addictions. Secrets become complex networks of deceit. Angry outbursts become abusive behavior. One more compulsive bet becomes financial ruin.
The scenarios are exhaustive (and exhausting!).
Trust me, carrying whatever it is ourselves and trying to keep it stuffed inside only leads to more (and deeper) hurt. I know. I’ve been there.
So make the commitment now to leave everything at the foot of the cross. Everything…and live free!
p.s. – since I mentioned it, take a listen to this song if you have time. It’s worth it.