Last week my husband mentioned building a tactical gear stand for his office, so I decided to try to find one with directions on-line one morning when it came to mind. After finding a picture with directions, I wrote down materials needed and directions, and emailed my husband to let him know it would be fun to build it together this weekend.
So off to Lowe's we all went on Saturday, purchasing a 4x4 post, three 2x4's and some screws. And, we even had enough material to build his assistant one as well. Here's a picture of our work...one loaded with his gear (and some pins that have special meaning to this journey we're on), and the other a gift to his assistant.
It was an easy build, and lots of fun to do as a family. My husband and one of the twins cut the wood, and the other twin and I did some sanding to make it look nice and have a smooth feel to it.
I find a lot of meaning behind this look of his tactical gear hanging on a cross...
It makes me think of Luke 9:23 where Jesus says, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." The gear makes me think about the scriptures I studied this morning about putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17). It also makes me think of why they wear the gear...and where they wear it. Which brings about a new thought...to be honest, there are days I have to put on the full armor of God in order to take up my cross and follow Jesus.
There are times I don't feel like following where He leads. Sometimes where He leads us isn't fun or exciting and requires complete trust in Him. Sometimes where He leads us isn't easy and we're sort of dragging the cross, instead of carrying it, hoping He will change His mind when He sees it's so difficult for us. Other times we throw that cross up on our shoulders and take off running, thinking we can conquer the world, only to find out it's not as easy as we imagined it would be. I've done all these things and had to trust in what I know God to be, and that is faithful. He has walked every step of the way with me and, though I've struggled with certain areas of this journey in the chaplaincy (like the deployment), God has been good and I've grown from those rough moments.
If you are reading this and are struggling to pick up your cross today, I understand. It's a daily thing and each day has its challenges, as well as its rewards. My prayer is that we will see the One who was nailed to the cross and who is victorious over sin and death, and that we will live in a way that brings honor and glory to His name. He knows our struggles; He knows our hearts...yet, He loves us and gives us the strength to follow even when the cross is heavy. May your day be filled with the joy of His salvation.