As a young girl I would often study the pictures hanging in my grandparents’ homes. Some were of family members taken years ago, when they were young. Others were aerial photos of their family farms where they grew up. But the picture that I stood in front of the most was of a woman, surrounded by crashing waves, clinging to a cross made of stone. My German great-grandmother had an image like this hanging in her bedroom and my Swedish great-grandmother had a similar image hanging in her living room. I always thought of these two women as being so different in their personalities, but seeing these pictures somehow brought them closer together.
I now have both images in my home in places of honor to remember the faith each woman had. The legacy they left behind for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. My great grandmothers clung to God when they lost children, their husbands, and experienced other hardships.
I have now walked with Jesus for more than half my life. I have had my faith rocked by unforeseen heartbreak and I have clung to the Cross. I have watched people who have floundered and been tossed about because they didn’t have faith in God to see them through. Again and again, the image of the woman finding safety and security in the Cross while in the middle of a storm came to mind.
The artist of the picture drew the woman with a look of determination and yet there is a sense that she knows it isn’t her strength that keeps her there. The Truth of the Cross is that it is Christ Himself who holds us, protects us, and saves us in these storms. I often think that’s why Scripture tells of Jesus calming the storms (Mark 4:39). Time and time again, when the winds ravage us, the waters rise, and despair tells us all is lost, the Cross stands firm. It does not move, it is not going to fall under the weight and the pressure. It is going to stand. The Cross is unwavering and by calling out to Jesus we will find ourselves drawn to Him.
He will uphold us in his mighty right hand (Isaiah 41:10). This is the tenacious truth of Christ. He seeks us and saves us (Luke 15) and we find ourselves securely surrounded by Him every. single. time.
Best Beloved, what are you clinging to today? Your job? Your title? Your bank account? What will hold you when you are surrounded by despair? What will give you hope? Is it time to be honest with yourself and cling to the Truth? Jesus will never leave you, never forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He will seek you out, searching all over the world to find you. It’s just a decision that you need to make whether you want to turn to Him or continue to try to find salvation in finite things.
Is it time for you to cling tenaciously to the Truth of that beautiful Cross?
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.
In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
~The Old Rugged Cross music and lyrics by George Bennard