Why Must I, as a Soul in a Material Plane, Bear a Cross?
This is a question that each of us individually should ask ourselves, and the manner in which we answer determines our spiritual status. It is the spiritual gauge of our development since the fall of humanity.
Whenever this question has been considered, many go away and walk no more in the way. "Will ye go also?" Shall we not reply, "Lord, to whom shall we go? For Thou alone hast the words of eternal life." (See 262-35.) Shall we evade the cross that is ours to bear, especially at this time when humanity is entering the greatest test period in the history of the world? The words of the prophet seem to come ringing down the ages, "Who may abide the day of His coming?" Know we not that it is only those whose loins are girt about with truth? Who shall be able to abide to take this stand?
As individuals in the material plane, we must of necessity bear many things coincident with His earthly experience, and by recognizing our obligations as children of the living God, as He did, and learning from Him the lesson of meekness and lowliness of heart, we exemplify through service and sacrifice the life He lived.
Knowing that the purpose of life is to be one with the Father, we have to wait if we expect to see results in material manifestation. There is no surer way of realization than "to keep on keeping on" in the way of the Christ. While our efforts may seem wrong in the eyes of everyone, there is a Power that takes hold in our extremities and adjusts every situation. As we trust that Power, our strength is renewed.
As we meet the crosses, endure the temptations, and overcome them, we become heirs and joint heirs with Him to the crown of glory. All who fulfill the purpose for which they are called bear their crosses not in sorrow, not in wailing, but in the joy of the Lord.
As a sign to us who have met our crosses and have overcome them, there comes that ability to meet other and greater crosses in the joy of the Lord, and to rejoice that we are counted worthy.
Let us enter into the service that may be our part as channels of blessings to others. In so doing we become conscious that our lives are spent in the way He would have us go, and that His presence abides with us. The door is open. Virtue and understanding find activity. Faith is renewed day by day, for we are more able to understand conditions that arise-whether from the mental, the material, or the spiritual. Access to the Father may be held as a cooperative force in whatever sphere of activity we may engage when in service to others.
It is not in times or seasons or in any place-but in every place, every day, and every hour that we may show forth His love to those we contact. By our lives others may know that He walks with us and is our friend. Upon what is the glory of the crown conditioned? Faith-ful-ness.