Q. My grandmother is in a hospital right now in the last stages of alzhiemers. The doctors have said all they can do is comfort her. She can no longer do anything on her own. She can’t even hold a conversation anymore. But the other day she said something that I’ll never ever forget. She said, “Help me God… Help me off my cross to bear.” I need you please, to explain to me what exactly she was saying.
A. In Matt. 16:24 Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” He was talking about putting our plans and dreams to death and giving our life to Him. But many people misunderstand this as referring to suffering for the Lord as He suffered for us.
They also point to Romans 8:17 that talks about sharing in His suffering so we can share in His glory. But in context, this verse means if we agree His suffering was for us, then His glory will be for us too, because we’ll be made heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. But again, many people think it means we have to suffer like He suffered in order to be worthy to share in His glory.
Both these verses run contrary to the dominant theme of the New Testament, which says our position with the Lord is based on on faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Your grandmother may think the Alzhiemer’s is her cross to bear, in other words it’s the way she’s supposed to suffer for the Lord. If so she may have been asking Him to put an end to her suffering, either by healing her or taking her home. Either way she would be off “her cross to bear”.