This morning, this struck me in my reading:
From then on, Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead. … Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:21, 24)
It really is crazy to think that Jesus specifically told the disciples to take up their cross and follow him well before he was crucified. How much plainer could he have spoken?
Jesus knew the moment he began his ministry that he was taking up a cross and that he would bear that cross to completion.
And he told his disciples that he would be killed and that he would rise again three days later.
He told them this at least three times. (See Matthew 17:22-23 and Matthew 20:17-19.)
But after he was crucified, the disciples are nowhere to be found. When they first receive the news that Jesus has risen from the dead, they don’t believe the women who tell them, “because their words seemed to them like nonsense.” (Luke 24:11)
I look at this and wonder at how the disciples could have had so little faith. It is clear they did not believe what he had told them.
But why do I think I’d have done any better?
I’m dealing with infertility. And it hurts. It hurts so badly. And I cannot confess to you the number of times I have thought about my situation and found it hard to believe that God could be using this for my good, for anyone’s good.
But I’ll try to have faith.
Eventually, the disciples saw Jesus face-to-face again. And then they believed. Even the most skeptical of all of them believed. I can only hope God will have patience for me as he did for them.