There are things in this life that can seem like unnecessarily burdens.
Sickness. Pain. Loss. Hard days at work. Difficult conversations with those we love. A seemingly unquenchable longing.
What if I told you that God wanted to reach you? But the way that He wanted to reach you was through those things that you thought were horrible inconveniences in your life?
Laura Story penned this thought beautifully in her song "Blessings." Perhaps the phrase that speaks the message the loudest is:
"All the while, You hear each spoken need. Yet you love us too much to give us lesser things. Because what if Your blessings came through raindrops? What if Your healing came through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near? What if trials in this life, are Your mercies in disguise?"
Yet as lyrically beautiful and poignant as this is, it does little to take away the sting of a heavy cross we can pick up and put on our shoulders in union with Christ. It is easy to talk about burdens, and another to carry them.
It is, in fact, easier, to talk about the burdens of others and watch God work in their life than to turn our gaze inward and admit the assistance that we ourselves need. Because to us, our life is boring.
Drudgery. Day in and day out. Always the same. Void of excitement.
Steve Furtick, a pastor in North Carolina, said, "The reason that we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else's highlight reel."
Have you thought about what your life looks like to others? Your daily grind is new to them. Your everyday is their once-in-a-lifetime. And maybe they are looking at your life and wishing they had what you found by doing the little things.
Of course we can't say that phrase, "little things," without connoting the beautiful St. Therese of Lisieux. She dedicated her life to God through the form of a life in a convent. After her final vows, she didn't see any other view than that which was within her four walls.
Look at her life. Some may say boring. Deprived. Worthless. Waste
But God saw dedication. Total surrender. Love without thought of self.
And He turned the small action of a woman giving up her life to Him into a series of hardships that has taught the world how to love through the little things.
Your life is a series of choices. You can choose who, what, where, why and how to love. You can choose to pick up your cross and walk a hard-yet-worth-it journey with God. You can choose to never pick up that cross, but rather stare and complain.
But the life rocked with burdens is a life with countless opportunities to draw nearer to the one who we desire to spend eternity with.
"What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?" (Laura Story).
We all know the story of the woman at the well in John chapter four. After her conversation with Christ, she didn't have to stop getting water to fill her watering pitcher. We know she had to return to get water to drink again to quench a physical thirst. Yet the the burning desire for a Savior? That was quenched in more ways she could imagine. She knew what it was like to search for something to fill the aching. She had been married many times, and the man she was with when she met The Lord wasn't even her husband.
Yet with Christ there was forgiveness and unconditional love. She would not thirst without a source of relief any longer, because now she knew where the true source of love was.
Pick up your cross. Come to the source of love and He will help you with your load.