7.08.2011

Embracing the Cross

"You need to learn to separate yourself from unnecessary and restless thoughts which grow out of self-love. When your own thoughts are set aside you will be completely in the middle of the straight and narrow path. You will experience the freedom and peace that is meant for you as a child of God.

I try to follow the same advice that I give others. I know that I must seek peace in the same way. Often, when you suffer, it is the life of your self-nature that causes you pain. When you are dead you do not suffer. If you were completely dead to your old nature you would no longer feel many of the pains that now bother you.

Endure the aches and pains of your body with patience. Do the same thing with your spiritual afflictions (that is, trouble sent to you that you cannot control). Do not add to the cross in your life be becoming so busy that you have no time to sit quietly before God. Do not resist what God brings into your life. Be willing to suffer if that is what is needed. Overactivity and stubbornness will only increase your anguish.

God prepares a cross for you that you must embrace without thoughts of self-preservation. The cross is painful. Accept the cross and you will find peace even in the middle of turmoil. Let me warn you that if you push the cross away, your circumstances will become twice as hard to bear. In the long run, the pain of resisting the crossis harder to live with than the cross itself.

See God's hand in the circumstances of your life. Do you want to experience true happiness? Submit yourself peacefully and simply to the will of God, and bear your sufferings without struggle. Nothing so shortens and soothes your pain as the spirit of non-resistance to your Lord.

As wonderful as this sounds, it still may not stop you from bargaining with God. The hardest thing about suffering is not knowing how great it will be or how long it will last. You will be tempted to want to impose some limits to your suffering. No doubt you will want to control the intensity of your pain.

Do you see the stubborn and hidden hold you have over your life? This control makes the cross necessary in the first place. Do not reject the full work that the power of the cross could accomplish in you. Unfortunately, you will be forced to go over the same ground again and again. Worse yet, you will suffer much, but your suffering will be for no purpose.

May the Lord deliver you from falling into an inner state in which the cross is not at work in you! God loves a cheerful giver. (II Corinthians 9:7) Imagine how much He must love those who abandon themselves to His will cheerfully and completely - even if it results in their crucifixion!'

excerpt from The Seeking Heart, Fenelon

3 comments:

Eunice (Grandma Sugie) said...

Thank you for sharing that, my friend. I have remember that Christ is the center of my life.

Melissa said...

Thank you for this, Lynn...I can't get this thought out of my mind..."submit yourself peacefully and simply to the will of God, and bear your sufferings without struggle. Nothing so shortens and soothes your pain as the spirit of non-resistance to your Lord."

Kayra said...

oooo - VERY convicting, and helpful for some things I'm mulling over at present. Thanks for the reminder Lynn.