A Present Cross
Suffering, grieving, death, illness, restraint put upon us… Some things that happen to us can be mighty difficult for a very long time. We undergo these strange times, where - with our Burger King, instant gratification, have it your way mentality getting in the way, we have forgotten the meaning that is always behind times of testing. It is not meaningless.
The following paragraph is from T. Austin-Sparks on: The Cross and the Way of Life - Chapter 1
"Yes, we pass into a time of excruciating spiritual and soul suffering. We do not know what the Lord is doing, what He means by this, what He is after, but we know the features of our experience and know what it is that we are suffering, and it goes on. We, of course, ask the Lord to stop it, to bring it to a quick end, to deliver us from it. He takes no notice of us, and it is only those people who get out the other end who say, ‘Thank God, He did not take any notice.’ In the meantime, we think He is anything but kind and good and doing the right thing, but as we get on under His hand, we begin to see and to sense that He is dealing with something. Maybe He is dealing with our pride, our independence, or our irresponsibility, for example. That is the issue that comes up, and we are faced all the time with something about ourselves that is almost devastating. We would not have believed that that was so strong in us."
In all things we are brought up to remembrance that He is the Creator and we are the creature - fallen, derelict, in need of salvage like old shipwrecks. "We" are being dismantled and refit with Christ in us, our hope of glory. He has made us. We blew it. He is remaking us in Christ.
Times like this remind us of our need. Lost sinners, in need of the one and only Savior Who calls, enlightens, and sanctifies us by the Holy Spirit.
"The sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us." This we must remember and confess, as we give thanks always in all things. We also do well to recall the words of Jesus, "If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” Could we say that we are to pick up what He in His infinite wisdom places before us, as He also took up His cross?
It is never without meaning.