“You Have to Experience the Cross to Get the Crown” by Guest Writer: Nita Wilkinson

My daughter was hiding her head in my left arm. She wasn’t crying or even whimpering. But she was afraid of the needle that would relax her before her hernia surgery. So, she refused to look at it. 


Sounds like a normal child reaction to needles, right? Well, when you are in a foreign country, sometimes what you consider ordinary can be deceiving. The doctor threw me out of the room and closed the door because he couldn’t have mothers coddling frightened children. This was explained to me through the interpreter, who then got quite an earful from me. When the door opened, the nurse was on her hands and knees on top of my daughter, holding her down. Now my daughter was hysterical, and I wasn’t too far behind her with the hysteria. The interpreter’s eyes were bigger than golf balls when she saw it and amazingly grew to the size of tennis balls as I exploded. I was so angry the interpreter called for support from the company that took us to this foreign land. 


The entire operation was put on hold, waiting for that support. I’m sure the interpreter had visions of an international incident. Within 15 minutes, two high-up officials from the company came and spoke with me. I was calmer at this point and told them that doctor wasn’t to do the surgery. I wanted someone else. They explained to me that he was our only option in this area. They did arrange for me to be with her until she was unconscious and I could be in the recovery room waiting for her. Neither of those was protocol, but angry American Momma Bear and the thought of international incident were not a combination they wanted. So I agreed, but only if I never had to see or talk to that doctor again. From that moment on, the doctor I dealt with, who had gotten his license in the U.S., was appropriately apologetic and kind.

Momma’s, please tell me you have been there. When someone messes with your baby, causing you to feel this rage that swells up inside of you so big you think you are going to explode. And then you do explode, and with that explosion comes a voice you don’t recognize but can’t stop because someone is hurting your baby that you love so much!


Isn’t it an incredible blessing to know that as much as we love our kids, Jesus loves us so much more than that? He took on a cross to show us that love and save us from our sins.


“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If you truly want to follow me, you should at once completely reject and disown your own life. And you must be willing to share my cross and experience it as your own, as you continually surrender to my ways. For if you choose self-sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory, you will continually discover true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will forfeit what you try to keep. For even if you were to gain all the wealth and power of this world with everything it could offer you—at the cost of your own life—what good would that be? And what could be more valuable to you than your own soul?” Matthew 16:24-26 TPT


We are willing to go to extremes for our babies, but are we just as willing to go to those same extremes for Jesus and share His cross? Experience it as our own? I stand in awe of His complete obedience to take on the suffering of that night. His loneliness and fear in the garden. The mocking hatred of the crowd of people that He loved so much. The continued questions of who He was and why they wanted to kill Him. The horrific beatings He took that left Him unrecognizable. And the agony and humiliation He bore on the cross. I can’t even imagine.


While most of us will never face anything of that extreme, we are called to share the cross with Him. Why did He choose the cross? He knew for His entire life that the cross was necessary for Him to fulfill the prophecy to become the final and complete sacrifice for our sins. Our sin separates us from God, and we only deserve judgment. Jesus loves us and wants us in eternity with Him, so He took on that judgment on the cross.

Are we willing to take up His cross? What does that look like for us? Are we ready to die to our selfish lives to live the way He did? Are we willing to give up the things of this world that keep us from seeking and doing His work for the greater kingdom? 


I want to be clear that God wants us to enjoy life. Taking up the cross of Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t enjoy certain foods, clothes, activities, etc. It does mean as we continue to transform ourselves to be holy and closer to God, He will ask us to give up some of the things of this world. He will ask us to be obedient and to make choices that reflect Him. He wants us to share in His suffering so that we can also share in His glory! (Romans 8:17 NIV)


I found myself recently giving up specific books. While I have an affinity for certain books, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to give those up, at least for now. I believe that, right now, God wants me to spend my time on books with more substance, and I want to honor that. We all need to listen and hear the Spirit in our own way and time. 


Taking up His cross and obedience are wholly woven together so that we can find the unique purpose and plan that God has for each of our lives. But we can only truly find that through the cross.

NITA WILKINSON

So while I gave the example of giving up reading specific books, He has been working in my life in much more significant ways. He is taking me out of my comfort zone in some areas and leading me to things I am excited about but wonder if I’m worthy of in others. So far, trust and obedience have gotten me through. It’s not pretty when I stumble around with my words telling a stranger about Jesus. But it’s honest and obedient. And I know God makes diamonds from coals, so He can use my bumbling voice too. 


So many of us balk at taking up the cross because we see it as giving up perceived freedoms. I would argue that the blessings and freedom you find when you are obedient to Him are so much better than the world’s freedoms. God made you in His image; he loves you, delights in you, and He will never steer you wrong. There is no better freedom than to transform in complete trust of the one who loves you most.

So Momma Bears, when you think of what you would endure for your children and know what He suffered for you, I encourage you to share the experience of the cross that God is leading you to because all the love you have for your precious children pales in comparison to the love God has for you! It’s an extraordinary journey that will bless you in ways you cannot imagine. Every sacrifice is worth it because that sacrifice is leading you to your crown when you enter the gates of heaven and live the eternity God has for you! 

Jesus is the light of her world, and Nita strives to shine that light on the people around her. Nita loves sharing the Bible as the #1 tool in the toolbox of life. Besides In the Whisper, Nita is a founder and board member of Gifts with Grace, a ministry for women facing trauma and feel they have no voice. She also offers devotions and walking to a group of women as a means of spiritual and physical wellness. Nita has had devotions published in “Devotions for KIds” and articles in various newspapers, magazines and newsletters. Nita is currently working on an Advent Book. Connect with Nita: https://www.facebook.com/nita.r.wilkinson; https://www.facebook.com/Inthe.whisper1; https://www.instagram.com/inthe.whisper; https://twitter.com/Nita62.

We thank you, Nita, for your contribution to this month’s publication of Titus-two.com and sharing your heart.

You are loved to Heaven and Back ~~

LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary

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