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Taking up & Putting down

Taking up your cross can look a lot like putting down your problems.


Here's what I mean:

I struggle with wanting to control every aspect of my life, from my schooling to relationships. (The more you read about me, the more you will know that). This need for control causes me anxiety; probably because we can't control everything that happens outside ourselves, in fact, we can barely control anything besides ourselves- we learn this early in life.


Control can be experienced in a variety of ways. Personally, I let worry and stress, about what I'm trying to control, consume me. The second that I feel out of control I begin to panic.

I try to control...

my life to make sure I am doing everything absolutely perfect so that I don't disappoint anyone.

my relationships so I don't lose anyone.

my grades (because I know I have control), but end up consumed with academics.

What if I didn't do this? Would life feel a little more free, a little less stressed, a little more like I am actually living and not trying to survive?

I hold so tightly to what I want and love so I don't experience loss, when Jesus tells me to do the opposite- not once but every day.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 16:24-26 that we need to take up our crosses and follow Him; after this statement He continues by saying, "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it."

Many times this scripture is interpreted as whoever wants to sin (hold on to sinful desires) will lose their life, but whoever gives up sin will live. This isn't a wrong interpretation, but I don't know if that is the only point Jesus wanted to get across.

I think Jesus was saying that if we hold so tightly and try to save our own lives by controlling everything, we will lose our true purpose. He is saying that when we finally loosen the grip of everything we want and let go of complete control in our lives, then we can finally find real life-life captivated by calling, passion, and purpose; a life filled with trust and peace.

This is the life our Father desires for us.


How do we lay down our problems and pick up our cross? It's a daily surrender; giving this life and our future to the hands of a Father who loves us. Sometimes it is saying, "Jesus you're first in my life, I trust you, and because of who you are, I don't need to be in control."

Today I took up my cross by taking a deep breath and remembering that God is for me and with me, an ever-present help in trouble, His ways are above mine; resting in those truths, I can finally give up my human need for control.

I can finally put down my problems, and pick up my cross.


Love this 💕


Josiah Keller
Josiah Keller
May 16, 2022

I'd never heard that phrase interpreted in that way. I'd have to agree. Switching churches has opened up a whole new world for me. If I had been too afraid of losing my friends and what I had grown accustomed to, I never would've made the change. It's only going to get more epic from an already epic start.


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