Ever since my last blog post, I’ve been thinking a lot about bearing the cross. Really, the Bible is full of examples of people who had heavy crosses to bear. Think of the prophet Jeremiah. This poor guy was called to proclaim the Law in all its fury to the wayward people of Israel. He had to give news of the exile to a nation who largely scorned or ignored him. He may have been called “the iron prophet,” but he also earned the nickname “the weeping prophet.” Jeremiah really did have a tough assignment. And so it isn’t surprising that at times he broke down and questioned God.
“My hair has always been unruly. I can’t keep it under control for anything. I guess that’s my cross to bear…
“My complexion is terrible. I still break out like I’m a teenager! It’s the cross I have to bear…”
“I’d love to be able to have a deep, meaningful conversation with my husband, but he’s so private I can barely get a word out of him. Must be my cross to bear…”
Have you heard statements like these? I have. I’m sure I’ve even made such frivolous statements before. In our society, “bearing one’s cross” has come to mean putting up with something that’s irritating or annoying, as in the examples above. But what does it really mean?