My minister brother received a send-off blessing from an El Paso Church where he had been an intern pastor. The Senior pastor raised his hands high above Bob's head and said, "May all your crosses be made of balsa wood!"
If we are going to follow Jesus Christ we'll have a cross. We're not talking about crucifixes or physical ailments or those irritating inconveniences that come our way from time to time.
For Jesus, the cross meant the cross of perfect obedience to the will of God. Even our Lord struggled with this because for Him obedience meant agonizing death on that cruel instrument of Roman torture. "Heavenly Father," He prayed in anguish, "if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me." Nevertheless, He bore it. He was obedient to the will of His Heavenly Father.
The cross is assuming the responsibility of submission to God's direction-- being obedient to Him no matter what that might mean. For many this might be a burdensome task. Yet, when we link ourselves with Jesus Christ the load is lightened and He shares determination. Jesus says:
"Anyone who wants to be a follower of Mine must renounce self, they must take up their cross and follow Me." Matthew 16:24
Rev. Patricia E. Walker, AlphaChurch.org