Have you ever been in that place where you are so upset or so mad that you throw your “Christianity” out the window?
I am in the military and am currently at a training event. We were sent out to an area that was nothing but ankle-deep mud so we could help resupply a unit that had been there for almost a week – living in those conditions. When we got there we had to stay the night due to road closings and not many people in our group were prepared for that (neither was the group we were helping out). It was late, we were all tired and it seemed like we would be staying the night in the mud. Now at this point I was nothing but furious but then our luck started to change. Some of the soldiers that had already been staying there had scrounged up a tent for us and enough cots for about half of our group. Once we got to the tent some people chose to sleep on the ground while some quickly chose to claim a cot. I just stood there waiting, not out of Christianity for my neighbor, but waiting to be told what to do. Eventually, I was told to take the last available cot and, at first, I was happy to finally be able to put my stuff down and go to sleep; that’s when my thoughts took over. Here I am on a bed while others sleep on the ground – some by choice and some being told to – and yet the thought kept coming to mind: why didn’t I offer mine up to someone else? Now here you might be expecting a valiant Christian act of me offering mine up, but instead I just laid there. It was at that point that I realized how angry I was. How I actively avoid suffering, how judgmental I am towards others, and how little I deserved to be in that “nice bed” while others had nothing. This had been on my mind the last few days, so much so that I had to write it out on my phone. You see, I learned (and I am still learning) it is so easy to be a Christian and love our brothers and sisters when things are easy and everyone around you is happy. But how about when we are tired, upset or just in an overall bad situation? How well does our Christian life permeate through us then? I have seen myself act this way numerous times but it was this night that God decided to show me how selfish I am even after He has given me so much. My brothers and sisters, it is in these moments of struggle that we have to remember He is with us and we have to remember and put into action this life we talk about. Christ is calling us to pick up our crosses daily – and those crosses may change daily. One day they may be light and the next, unbearable. We are one giant community helping each other out. When one is weak, those who are strong need to help out the one who is falling. We can choose to be the person who lifts weight or who adds the weight to our own crosses. It is in true trial and struggle that we find out how far we are willing to carry that cross. We must take up our burdens, grab our cross and move.
My brothers and sisters, I have never felt our universal Church so strongly than I have these last few weeks. No one is alone in the fight; never give up in any struggle. The cross is heavy, you might be battered and bruised and everyone may be telling you to drop it but continue the journey and find paradise.
I love you all and I am praying for you all.
“Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” – Luke 9:23
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