I read a poem recently; “The Changed Cross”. In the poem, a weary Christian dreamt that she was led to a place where many crosses laid. Crosses of diverse shapes, and sizes. The most beautiful one was set in jewels of gold, it was so tiny and exquisite that she changed her own plain cross for it, thinking she was fortunate in finding one so much lighter and lovelier. But not long after she had exchanged her cross, her back began to ache under the glittering burden, and she changed it yet for another, very beautiful and entwined with flowers. But she soon found out that, underneath the flowers were piercing thorns which tore her flesh.
At last, she came to a very plain cross without jewels, without carving, or any effect on it. She took this one up and it proved the easiest and the best of all. She was amazed, however, to find that it was her old cross which she had discarded for the more attractive ones.
You see, many of us today are like this Christian woman represented in the poem. We tend to feel that other peoples’ Looks, Marriages, Relationships, Spouses, Children, Homes, Jobs etc are far better than our own, and we say; “I would do or give anything to be like the other person. I will gladly trade places with Mr. Jones”, and so on.
Folks, it is easy to see the jewels and the flowers in other “peoples’ crosses”, but the thorns and the heavyweight are known only to the bearers. Other peoples’ challenges, obstacles, pains, sufferings, and circumstances always look easy and bearable compared with our own. But we often fail to realize the secret burdens and tears which almost crush their hearts, nor the months and years of exhaustive waiting for delayed success, their aching hearts longing for sympathy, the hidden poverty, and the suppressed emotions in other lives.
Friends, to live your greatest lives, you have to be contented with your blessings, and circumstances, trusting that God who made us all, knows what is best for you. And like the scripture says, He won’t allow us have challenges beyond our capacity to handle and grow from them. So when you are tempted to wish to be in someone else’s shoes, always remember; nobody in this world is problem free, and that “Not all that glitter is gold.”