by the cross

A lot of my blog posts lately have been reflecting on how the busy-ness of life can distract us from the still beauty of Jesus. And I'm writing about it again because it's an idea that is still tugging at me.

Every year on Good Friday, our family puts up a near life-sized cross in our field beside the road. We then drape a large piece of red velvet fabric over the cross to symbolize the death of Jesus. On Saturday, we hang up a piece of black fabric to remind us of the day in which Jesus was dead. And then on Easter Sunday, we drape a white cloth, a banner to symbolize the cleansing from our sins and the victory of the Resurrection.

During this time of the year, just seeing the cross out of the window while I do my schoolwork helps me to focus on what's really important. When I start to feel overwhelmed or disoriented by the crazy schedules and work loads, I can stop, walk out into the field, and sit at the foot of the cross. Surrounded by daffodils and butterflies, I can stop to remember. I can take out my Bible and read of His love while I lean my back up against the greatest demonstration of that love.

Sometimes (more often than not), it brings me to tears just looking at the cross. In and of itself, a cross is not beautiful. It is a form of torture, a mechanism of death. But because my Savior hung on a cross for my sin, it is now beautiful for me. And just to be near it, just to know that it is there, I am constantly reminded that I was bought with a price. I have a purpose. And I have a Savior who will be with me always.

You may not have a real cross outside your window. You may not be able to come over to my house and sit by it. You may not have a grassy field in which to stop and reflect. But you do have a Savior. No matter where you are, what you're doing, Jesus is always right beside you. He is there to hold you in His arms and to give you the strength to press on.

Right now, simply stop. Close your eyes. And take the time to remember that Jesus, the One who died so you could live, is with you. Right now. All around you. He's always there to help you when you call. The joy of this knowledge is overwhelming, but there is also such an accountability that comes from this as well. To know that my Savior watches all I do. Every moment of time I spend. Every word I say. Every thought that passes through my mind, the mind He created.

God has blessed me with a real cross to help me remember His presence and from which to gain the peace of His love. It is a reminder for me to daily die to myself and live for Jesus. To crucify the evil desires that so easily distract me, and to push forward, running the race set before me.

In your life, find a way to remind yourself constantly of Jesus. Find a place and a time to stop and re-align your life with His will. Find your own "cross." Because when we stop to look up at the cross, we cannot help but be changed.

At the cross You beckon me,
You draw me gently to my knees and I am,
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.


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