Monday, August 10, 2009

My Cross Is Too Heavy

I'm still trying to figure out how this chemo and radiation works on my body. Saturday I woke up really nauseous with no appetite. Carl, worked all day making wonderful food for a birthday party he had planned for me. The party was so much fun. We laughed and had wonderful fellowship with great friends from our choir. But I couldn't eat any of the food including the birthday cake. Sunday was just the opposite and I was starving all day.

Today, I feel the same as Saturday. Nauseous with no appetite and new sores in my mouth. (Where did those come from? Chemo is done.)
Carl moved a couple of students and we went down to the hospital for radiation together.

While waiting for my turn to go in, I saw a lady outside one of the radiation rooms obviously waiting for her turn also. She was a pretty lady, probably in her early thirties. She was laying on a stretcher. She had obviously been through chemo because she had only fuzz on her head. She was pale as a ghost. She had a washcloth and a bucket with her, indicating she had been sick. My heart just went out to her. She had a wedding ring on her hand. Where was her husband? Why was she alone? Was he home taking care of their young children?

And here I was with my loving husband at my side, not laying on a stretcher but able to walk in on my own. Just a few minutes earlier, I had felt sorry for myself for feeling nauseous. Now I felt guilty that I seemed to have it so good in comparison to this young woman. Tears filled my eyes and I closed them in prayer and lifted her up before the Lord.

Then my name was called and I went in for my radiation. While laying on the table, the big machine, which had been over my head, moved around and brought into clear view the cross etched into the ceiling. It had a red beam of light on each of the four tips of the cross. As I focused on it, I thought about the cross that Jesus asks each of us to bear. Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23 )

A good friend shared this story with me this morning and I wanted to pass it on.


A young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer."Lord, I can't go on," he said. "I have too heavy a cross to bear." The Lord replied, "My son, if you can't bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish."

The man was filled with relief and said, "Thank you Lord," and he did as he was told.
Upon entering the other room, he saw many crosses; some so large the tops were not visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. "I'd like that one, Lord," he whispered.

The Lord replied, "My son, that is the very same cross you just brought in."

No matter how heavy my cross feels, there is always someone who's cross seems heavier. But, no matter how heavy it gets, God promises that He will lighten the load enough that we would not buckle under, if we just ask Him. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30).

Could we each take a moment today and lift up someone in prayer who's load seems too heavy for them to carry? Even if we don't have a specific person in mind, God knows who they are. He will be faithful to answer and He will lighten the burden of their cross.