When the Cost is Counted

It’s slated for the beginning of March.

That move that will take us closer to where our hearts are and his work is and my garage is starting to accumulate with boxes to fill.

Back in the summer, in the sweltering heat, my passion was ignited and waiting for the move felt eternally long…

but now that it’s almost here?

There is a young woman, with beautiful eyes and a sweet spirit and every once in a while, across from those tables in the kitchen she’ll ask me, Are you scared?

And for months I could look her in the eyes and truthfully say no.

But now, if He continues to open these doors over the next five weeks?

Yes, Yaz…I am feeling fear.

Proximity to something always seems to magnify it – the closer we get to the month of March, the reality of the area we are moving to seems a bit more obvious and we begin to count the cost and as I look at the lives of my children and husband, this decision feels weighty.

And it should.

Going against the pull of comfort always causes discomfort and when bullets and drugs and gangs will be the new reality, your eyes begin to see life a little differently.

Death has been a theme lately.

Not in a morbid sort of sense, no…though, I have wondered. Though I really have sat down in the middle of those moments and held them…because there is a cost to be counted when we say yes to the Lord.

I was driving home from somewhere last week, wrestling through the reality of the messes made and the brokenness of now and holding the thoughts of my own part and parcel of it all and wondering how it can all fit together…how Jesus could work all of my mistakes out for good.

Because when Jesus calls out our name – when He says, Come, follow Me; When He comes near and speaks into a trembling soul, Whoever saves his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it, do we truly understand what that means?

Have we really counted the cost?

There is a man here who has loved us like a father and this past Christmas placed a book in my hands that he knew I had wanted.

I crack open the pages through this month that has felt like a wrestling of Jacob’s – all done in the dark and as though morning will never come.

It’s these words that I read, when He lets His peace wash over me, gives me a day to breathe, and I feel the truth of them deeply,

It’s kind of lengthy, but please, bear with me,

He was a righteous Jew, and had made his way back to
Jerusalem in order to celebrate Passover. He had no idea what
all the commotion was, but he obviously got close enough to
see what was happening.

As he stood at the edge of a rambunctious crowd, he saw
a man making his way up the hill, a cross on His shoulders
and a crown of thorns cutting into His sweaty skin…

…Simon was plucked from the masses and ordered to help
this guilty man as He continued to His place of execution.

There are only two times we are told that someone is “behind”
Jesus. The first is the woman with the issue of blood, and the
second is Simon of Cyrene, carrying the cross behind the King 
of all kings.

Carry the cross that would eventually bring His death and our

Simon wasn’t a disciple of Christ’s, and it’s not likely he 
even knew who He was. He was just one man, in a crowd, who 
thought he might escape notice. And as his hands lifted the beam, 
I wonder if he saw himself as a victim. Wrong place at the wrong 
time and nothing more…

What a horrific responsibility. To walk in the bloody footprints
of a man about to be executed, all the while painstakingly trying 
to keep balance and not succumb to the intense physical agony. 
Step after step, seeing enough of the man ahead of you to know
there is life in Him now that will soon be snuffed out.

In what we can piece together in the remaining narrative of Scripture,
Simon carried the cross to the place where Jesus was crucified, and
while we don’t know the specifics of what he saw, we know he saw 
enough to believe Christ was the Messiah. He returned to his tiny 
hometown, where he informed his family of what he had seen and 
they too believed. From there a church began in Cyrene, and one of 
the members from that church would eventually gather with others in
sending Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journey years later…

So let me ask you this:

Was he randomly chosen from the crowd? Forced into submission
by an angry officer?

Or could it be that before there was time, God saw this town,
this crowd, and this moment?

~ Angie Smith Chasing God

I believe that God is doing something – and this thing He is doing requires a death of sorts. My hands tremble in time with the quaking of my soul as I type that out.

Take up your cross and Follow Me – His voice calls out from pages of my bible and I know that what He asks is necessary but sometimes, I just need to still under the weight of it to count out what it will mean.

In the middle of my fears, in the middle of that moment of now and the one where I will pick up one foot to set down in the footprints marked out by my Savior, my eyes fall to my wrist.

I don’t know why the word for this year has felt the way it does – why I have felt the desperate need to have it wrapped around me – a still anchor of sorts for the uncertain days ahead.

I don’t know why, and that scares me.

It does.

But Jesus – the Son of the Living God Who bled out on the road to Golgotha and gave up His last breath on that tree so that I could be found in Him alive and free – He remains steadfast. His love holds firm and faithful.

He doesn’t give a map, He only gives a command spoken with love from a Heart that intimately knows that of what He asks,

Pick it up, child. That cross that feels so heavy and unwieldy that I have asked you to carry and die to yourself. Yes – it will be painful. But My yoke is easy…My burden is light. You won’t do this alone.

 My Arms are carrying you the whole way.

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