When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

  • Feb. 21, 2013
  • #8039

When Joni sings, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” she can’t help but think of what it means to live a cross-centered day. Listen to her words here.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada with a hymn I love to sing in our chapel at the Disability Center.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
O that wonderful cross, O that wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
O that wonderful cross, O that wonderful cross
All who gather here, by grace draw near
And bless your name.

Yep, that’s the one I most often sing when I wheel into the chapel at our Joni and Friends International Disability Center. I always do this right near the end of the day. I wheel down the ramp and make a right hand turn into the chapel (the door’s always open) and my heart just naturally goes to this hymn. I love every stanza in it, and have put the words to memory.

There is another time my heart naturally goes toward this hymn. It’s in the morning. Now, I enjoy my morning routine: a single egg, soymilk with bran, followed by a cup of coffee. I haven’t altered that routine in ages. That’s because we build habits around the things that matter to us, right. And the cross matters to me. Habits are important as we seek to daily build our lives around the Gospel.

C.J. Mahaney writes, “Do you want to live a cross-centered life? A cross-centered life is made up of cross centered days.”

 Well, my friend C.J. tells us how to keep the flame of the Gospel burning brightly in the drizzle of our everyday lives. And so as I begin my morning — the girlfriends who come to get me up out of bed, right before I sit up in my wheelchair — we take a few moments to pray together. And, we preach the Gospel to ourselvesour audience is our hearts, reminding them of the wonderful cross, reminding our hearts of those things that matter most to God. My get-up girls (that’s what I call the friends who help me with the bed bath, getting dressed and sitting up in the morning) my get-up girls and I have been following this routine for years. We never start the day without praying for our husbands, asking for a day of less pain, and preaching the Gospel to ourselves and rehearsing just what Jesus did on His most wondrous cross.

To live a cross-centered day is to “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” Those are stirring words from Colossians chapter 3.

That is what it means to stay close to the cross; it means putting to death old ways, but you can’t do it on your own. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you; it will mean your life will totally focus on Jesus’ cross!

© Joni and Friends

 

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