5 July, Sunday — Carry my cross and shoulder on

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Zec 9:9-10
Rm 8:9,11-13
Mt 11:25-30

“I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, … Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.”

I used to be a worrywart — I would worry about every little thing. The years as a journalist were the worst because that translated to worrying every single day as I tried to meet my deadlines. By hook or by crook, writer’s block or not, I just had to get my stories out. I didn’t even have time to pray much back then.

As my children started going to school, I worried about their safety, about them falling sick, about them not studying hard enough, about the kind of friends they mixed around with, about being streamed into Normal Acad… the list of worries for a mother can go on and on.

When my husband started to get his panic attacks (right about the time when I was carrying my 2nd child), I worried the most because I would often start to get a little panic of my own –- my heart would beat really hard and fast, and it would just drive me to a point where I wanted to mentally and emotionally block out everything. Those panic attacks started to come more often over the years and all I knew to do was pray. I prayed very hard, asking God to help make my husband better. It’s been over 10 years now and as soon as I started to let Jesus carry part of my cross, I felt much calmer and better able to deal with situations each time. Those attacks have also since stopped. Praise and thank God for answering my prayers!

It is only in recent years that I’ve slowly learnt to pass the baton to Jesus, or should I say, allowed him to help me carry the worries and burdens. It is thanks to weekly visits to the adoration chapel that I began my walks with Jesus and where I started to pour my heart out to him. Slowly, he showed me His way. I’ve since learnt to be a bit more patient, to deal with whatever problems with compassion rather than from a worrywart’s point of view.

In one of my more recent walks with Jesus, I realised that even before I verbalised my worries, He already knew the worries that have been weighing on me. For when I turned to look at Him, I saw him carrying my worries (people I’m worried about) literally on his shoulders — rather, they were hanging over the wooden crossbeam like the one he carried on the road to Calvary! This is why I am worried but not so worried. When trials come, I am still able to sleep and breathe easy, feeling uplifted most of the time, and I don’t lose my sanity over the things I cannot change. That’s the difference when we trust Jesus with our burdens.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Cynthia Chew)

Prayer: Dear Abba Father, you are truly Lord of our lives and there is no one else better to turn to in our times of stress and anxiety. Teach us to lean on you more and less on ourselves, for only in you can we find true peace and freedom. Amen  

Thanksgiving: Thank you Jesus, for carrying part of our crosses, for making our burdens feel so much lighter, so that we can walk ahead in faith, freely and without fear.

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