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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: August 22, 2015.

My walks each morning take me within 50 feet of one of the busier freeways in Southern California. Every morning I watch the northbound side hum along. Zipping by, getting to where they need to be quickly, listening to their worship music, news radio, book on tape. These drivers are happy, deliriously happy, to be on the non-traffic side.

Meanwhile, the southbound side crawls along inch by inch. They are looking at the northbound side wondering why in the world they’ve chosen a job, a visit, an errand that takes them south on this busy, crowded freeway. They are not getting anywhere fast and they might actually finish that book on tape before they arrive at their destination.

I am no stranger to traffic. I grew up in Southern California, went to college on the west side of Los Angeles, and lived for nine years in suburban Chicago. All places where traffic was something I had to consider every single time I left home, work or school.

But the crazy thing about traffic — sometimes there seems to be no reason for it.

I can be cruising along when up ahead, brake lights, and suddenly, I’m stopped. After several miles of this frustrating pace, it opens back up, parting like the Red Sea. No accident, no road work, nothing I can see that caused the backup, and now we’re briskly moving along again.

I’ve had this conversation hundreds of times with myself and my husband . . .

What was that!? Why were we stopped!? There was nothing to indicate there was a problem on the road! What happened to make us slow down!? Grrrrrr . . . (The last time this happened, we almost missed a flight.)

At the very end of Matthew, as Jesus was led away to be crucified, the soldiers saw a man, Simon of Cyrene, and forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. They made him take it and follow them to Golgotha. (27:32)

Many of us are in a season when we’ve been forced to pick up a cross we never asked to carry. A cross we didn’t choose. A cross we don’t want. We’re doing our thing, living our lives and suddenly, brake lights, slowing, stopping.

  • a sudden death,
  • a necessary move,
  • a critical health decision that needs to be taken care of RIGHT NOW,
  • a teenager whose lackadaisical attitude about her future changes your future,
  • financial troubles,
  • family members acting entitled and unloving.

Crosses we are forced to bear. Ones we never volunteered to carry. Burdens we don’t understand.

Nevertheless, here we are, this is it, and we must shoulder the load. There is no other way.

But hear these words in Psalm 34:

Let all who are helpless take heart!

He freed me from my fears!

He surrounds and defends all who fear Him!

For those who fear Him will have all they need!

You who are feeling helpless and fearful . . . Take Heart! Take Heart!

As you struggle and sweat and bend beneath your load, He is with you! He is freeing you and surrounding you and defending you! You who fear Him will have all you need!

In the midst then, of these slowed down, heavy, confusing days, when you’re longing to be going the other way, when you’re wondering, Why me? Why now? Why this cross? . . .

Take Heart!

You will have all you need.

When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark,
you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off.
You sit still and trust the engineer.
– Corrie ten Boom

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