“Why is this happening to me?!?” Ever think that? Ask that? Say that? Or how about this one. . . “What have I done to deserve this?”
The abundant luxuries, conveniences, and comforts of our lives have lulled us into a faulty theology that leaves us expecting life to be easy. And when it’s not. . . well. . . something must be wrong. We’ve somehow come to believe that God exists to make our lives easy. Having lived lives where we can push a button, flip a switch, take a pill, or pick up the phone to call an expert. . .again, we’ve been lulled into expecting the instant fix that removes pains, difficulties, and inconveniences in no time at all. Avoid pain. . . pursue pleasure. . . that’s what life is all about.
This is the week when we ponder the suffering of Christ on our behalf. We should also meditate on the gift He gives of inviting us into His suffering. James tells us to “consider it all joy” when we face trials and suffering of all kinds.
I love this little reminder from C.S. Lewis: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world”
“Take up your cross. . . ” isn’t an invitation to a life of ease. It is, however, an invitation to life.