Meditation for Monday

And as they led Him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. Luke 23:26

Many of us can probably dredge up stories of some wild treatment we received when we were visiting someplace. But none of our stories could top this one! Little is known about this man Simon, other than that he was a tourist in town and apparently was just passing by. With a band of soldiers on hand, he had no option but to comply with their demand. And he had a story to tell his children and grandchildren for life.

Mark’s gospel tells us that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus. Mark would have assumed these names would mean something to his readers, so it is fairly certain that they were Christians at the time of his writing. They probably heard the Gospel from their father. Simon’s life was not in danger, but he would surely know the significance of the cross he was carrying. He could see the One who was to be nailed on it, and could not fail to be impressed. When the morbid procession reached Golgotha, Simon’s task was done, but he probably stayed around for a bit to see what was to happen. Yes, this was a life-defining moment for Simon.

Have you ever had such a moment? No, I know you have not been absconded to carry gibbets, Roman or otherwise. But you have been present at some dramatic events and witnessed some life-shaking activities or developments. Just as Simon’s encounter with the cross, so too are your encounters intended by God to make their impact on your life. God does not allow us to encounter these things for no reason. In fact, God does not allow any circumstance to come our way for no reason.

There is no reason to look for a major lesson in everything that goes on around us. But we should be open to allowing God to teach us things when we encounter dramatic events. What about major accidents, tragedies and disasters? These things should move us to ask God why. The same goes for incidents of wonderful news such as births, weddings, souls being saved in a Gospel series, etc.

What happened to you today? What did you learn from it? – Jim MacIntosh

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