John was sitting on his bed staring at his used brown boots and thinking of all the places of importance those shoes took him. Especially last May, at the funeral of his cousin, David. John was thinking his cousin’s boots were just like his. Now he is gone, and John must carry the cross of missing one of his closest friends. They seemed to be inseparable at times. They would hunt together every fall, run together almost every evening, and mostly just hang out at his house on weekends. Hunting season is coming up, and John was feeling a great lost of companionship. He prayed to the Lord many times, but now it seemed extra urgent that he move forward without David. “Lord, God please give me strength to carry on. Please, I need to be strong enough to carry this particular cross. Lord, why is this cross so big and hard to carry? Please give me another one that I can handle; this one is too big for me.”
Jesus answered him in a dream.
That night John had a vivid dream. In it he was walking along, and he noticed people were walking along too and carrying their own crosses. Some were larger than others but the people seemed to moving along carrying them on their backs. John kept walking until he came to a door. Jesus told him to open the door and go in. He opened the door, and it was filled with people all holding crosses on their backs. The crosses were all large. These crosses were even larger than the other people not in the room and still walking. Jesus told him to continue through this room and open another door that lead into another room. He did and opened the second door. In this room there were more people with bigger crosses than the first room. Some were so big that people who were carrying them were falling down. Some people were caring their own crosses and helping also the people that were falling. John noticed Jesus pointing to a small cross leaning against the wall, the smallest in the room. As a matter of fact, it was so small it was not even noticed by John. Jesus said “That was the cross I gave you to carry.”
I am not suggesting that loosing a friend is a small cross. It was just an example I made up. We know Jesus won’t give us a cross we cannot handle.