I can’t quite remember where I heard this before, but lately, it’s become a bit of an encouragement for me.
A man was overwhelmed one day, lamenting his Cross, despairing his inability to carry it any longer.
He knelt, praying, crying, begging God to take his burdens away. Jesus appeared to him and asked if He could help. “I just can’t carry this anymore, Jesus! It’s too much!” said the man. Jesus, without hesitating, offered to take that Cross from the man, and give him another one in its stead. He led the man to a door, which when opened, revealed other Crosses. Thousands of them, all different sizes, from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. He offered for the man to choose any other Cross, one he felt he could handle more easily.
The man looked around, found the smallest one, and pointed. “That one,” he said, “I think I could handle that one.”
Jesus smiled and said, “But, my child, that’s the one you just gave up.”
I remind myself of this often, not because it helps to know others have it worse, or because my Cross is necessarily that small to ME. It’s still heavy, it still hurts, and it still makes me fall.
But this story reminds me that it’s all relative.
I may look at the weight another person carries and think it’s an easier Cross to bear, but to them it isn’t. And someone may look at what I carry as undemanding, while to me it’s, at times, unbearable. But perhaps it’s all in how we look at our own Crosses, or even how we carry them. Maybe that reminder from Jesus, that, “Hey, you can do this. Look at it. It’s not as big as you think it is,” is what we need to raise our heads and carry it differently.
I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Phil 4:13
Come to Me, you who are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest in Me. Matthew 11 28-29