As a fellow human being on the road to hopeful salvation, I can at times let myself be overcome with the load of my own cross. Like anything else in my life the more I make of my burdens the heavier they can become from the bothersome weight of pity that I needlessly accumulate.

I remember reading a story somewhere of a man who asked God to trade in his cross for something lighter. He was instructed to go into a room where a variety of crosses of varying size and weight were kept. Selecting a small, light weight cross, he went out the door. Upon meeting the Lord he showed Him the cross that he was now prepared to take up, the others after all, were far too heavy and great. Smiling at him Christ indicated that the cross he had chosen was his original cross, the one he had asked to trade in.

We can perceive at times that our load is unbearable and unfairly given to us. Yet, I believe if we were to really see the crosses of our brothers and sisters we would gladly reclaim our own.

Why do we look around and compare when we do not know what we are comparing our loads to? Why do we often assume that our burden is bigger, heavier, and more than we can handle? Perhaps we don’t trust God or maybe, we just give ourselves far too little credit.

Being a mother, I have watched my kids over the years constantly compare themselves to each other. “Mom, he got better muscles than I did.” “She had all best teachers.” Or, my personal favorite, “I got your bad math genes, and nobody helped me that much with my homework.” Whine, whine, whine. I cannot imagine the cosmic scale of whining the Lord must endure on a moment to moment basis.

What was it Christ said in Matthew 30, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” What could Jesus possibly have meant by that?

Maybe just maybe, if we stopped resisting so much we might not find the burden so unbearable. In fact Jesus was all about contradictions. For it is in “giving that we receive,” in “dying we are born to eternal life” and “pray for those who hurt you” to name a few.

Lately I am learning this lesson in a very real way. Opportunities have arisen for me to assist others in carrying their own heavy crosses. Rather than thinking selfishly as in, how can I possibly help you, I am dealing with my own situation…I have chosen instead to lend assistance. Here is the kicker, it makes my burdens seem smaller and less significant. When I get to help shoulder the weight of their cross, my cross appears lighter.

Wow, I think Jesus is onto something. If He wasn’t already King, I would nominate Him.

So I invite you this advent season to look around and see the weight that those around you are struggling with. Unlike Simon who had to be forced into action, be Christ, willingly stepping up shoulder to shoulder.

This inevitably is the perfect way, to prepare the way.