Not made of feathers, nor lined with velvet

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Take up your cross, and follow Me."  Mark 10:21

You have not the making of your own cross, although
'unbelief' is a master carpenter at cross-making. Neither
are you permitted to choose your own cross, although
'self-will' would gladly be Lord and master.

Your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine
, and you are cheerfully to accept it. You are to take
up the cross as your chosen badge and burden, and not
to stand caviling at it. Jesus bids you submit your
shoulder to His easy yoke. Do not . . .
  kick at it in petulance,
  or trample on it in pride,
  or fall under it in despair,
  or run away from it in fear;
but take it up like a true follower of Jesus!

Jesus was a cross-bearer. He leads the way in the path of
sorrow. Surely you could not desire a better guide! And if
He carried a cross, what nobler burden would you desire?

The 'way of the cross' is the way of safety. Do not fear to
tread its thorny paths. Beloved, the cross is not made of
feathers, nor lined with velvet
. It is heavy and galling to
disobedient shoulders; but it is not an iron cross, though
your fears have painted it with iron colors. It is a wooden
cross, and a man can carry it, for the Man of sorrows
upheld the load.

Take up your cross, and by the power of the Spirit of God you
will soon be so in love with it, that like Moses, you would not
exchange the reproach of Christ for all the treasures of Egypt!

Remember that Jesus carried it, and it will smell sweetly!

Remember that your cross will soon be followed by the crown,
and the thought of the coming weight of glory will greatly lighten
the present heaviness of trouble. May the Lord help you to bow
your spirit in submission to the divine will, that you may go forth
to your cross with the holy and submissive spirit which becomes
a follower of the Crucified!