Habits & Heaviness

Habits. They don’t form overnight. As much as I would like to wake up at 4:30am with a bolt of energy, run 3 miles, shower and have enough time and energy to look presentable, the truth is that won’t all come to me naturally right away. I know, bummer, right? Research shows that it typically takes 21 days to form a new habit. Motivation is what sets your actions in motion to create that habit.

I felt God tugging on my heart, I wanted to know Jesus, not just know Jesus as a list of facts, stories and things spoken, but truly and deeply know Him. I wanted to be extremely intentional in this. I wanted to start bringing my bible with me each day so I would be able to dive into His word and set aside time for Him and I, just like I would with other loved ones in my life. This was going to be the start of a new habit.

Eager to start this new habit, I tossed my bible into my purse as I was heading out the door the next morning. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE big purses, the bigger the better. More room for snacks and I mean, who doesn’t like snacks?! But seriously, my “Mary Poppins” bag has enough room for all of the things to get this girl through her day. Laptop. Wallet. Binder. Papers. Lipstick. Lunch. An 18-month-old child (kidding). Along with my newest addition, my bible.

I picked it up and headed out the door and immediately, I could feel the additional weight it added to my daily purse load. My shoulder was aching and pulling, it was uncomfortable! (a tad dramatic I know, but just being honest). Then, ever so peacefully this conviction passed through mind. “You know what else was heavy? The cross.” Gulp. My heart sank. Here I am feeling discomfort for adding a whopping 3 pounds to my load where the King of my heart painstakingly carried the cross for you and for me, and paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can live together in eternity. I will never forget this moment, my dear friends.

The cross was heavy. Heavier than you and I could ever imagine, and I’m not just talking physically. On it bore the sins of mankind. I don’t know about you, but I feel my sin alone would be enough to make anyone’s knees buckle beneath them. The cross was Jesus’s mission, His purpose. Forgiveness and eternity. Like Christ, we each have a mission here as well set in place before you and I even arrived on the scene (or in my Mary Poppins purse)…sorry I had to. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).  As I reflect, the work that Jesus did on the cross was good work, but it wasn’t painless. We must not think that our God-given mission overrides our pain throughout the process. It’s through the pain that God is most glorified. “ Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distress, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” ( 2 Corinthians 12:10).

What cross has God given you to carry? Where does it ache? What do you do when you feel like you can’t continue to bear that load?

Jesus is the ultimate cross-bearer. We can turn to him with our pains, our trials; He knows them all too well.

Lord,

You’ve set each of us apart with unique gifts and skills to glorify You. You’ve placed passion in our soul and each of us has a unique mission You’ve placed on our hearts. Forgive us for the times we complain about the heaviness that comes with this divinity. Help us to see the cross that is placed on us not as a hindrance, but as an opportunity to make Your love more evident on earth. Thank you for paying the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you for showing us what it means to take up our own cross each day. Strengthen us. Renew our minds. Renew our spirits. Renew our perception.

Amen.

Phew, my bible in my purse isn’t so heavy anymore.

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