God Wills and Can Carry Our Load | Faith
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The past two to three years have visited our shared lives crisis after crisis. Included are social upheaval, cultural calamities, COVID, shortages of goods and services, war in Eastern Europe and soaring inflation to name a few. Crises are unwanted intruders that weigh down life.
For individuals, the human condition is often full of troubles. But when large-scale tribulations add their weight, life begins to become unbearably heavy. It seems that one more burden is all it will take for a final collapse into wreckage and ruin. The temptation is therefore to live in dread, waiting for the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”. It’s exhausting ; what to do?
The psalmist says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). The apostle Peter relies on this psalm to exclaim: “Cast all your worries on the Lord, for he takes care of you.
The word “throw” implies a dramatic unloading or throwing down. In fact, the word from which “cast” is translated carries this very meaning. It functions as an invitation to let go of the burden by giving it to God, or, as it has been said, “let go and leave God”.
This is not intended to avoid taking responsibility or taking action. It is meant to encourage and inspire faith that God is all-loving and all-powerful and therefore willing and able to carry our load. Such faith exploded into the life of the psalmist, causing him to proclaim, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden” (Psalm 68:19).
In the midst of these turbulent times, instead of anxiously waiting for the next burden to crumble, what if we admitted in prayer, “I cannot bear it,” and then faithfully submitted it to the Lord who can and will.
To be sure, we find one that says, “Let’s make a trade.” This is the conclusion of Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
It seems a bit confusing at first. Why would we unload a burden just to take a yoke? We would if we believed the yoke would be a blessing. But how is this possible? Isn’t a yoke just one more burden to bear? Isn’t the idea to get rid of our burden completely?
There is a legend that says that when Jesus grew up as an apprentice carpenter in the workshop of his father Joseph, there was a sign above the door that read, “My yoke is well. This is probably imaginative speculation, but it certainly illustrates why we would and should trade with Jesus. He will bear the burdens that crush us as we take on His yoke which is “easy” — that is, tight fitting. Paradoxically, we find that His yoke for us is not a burden but a blessing. His yoke is the life he has for us by yielding to his will. It’s personalized-
made. There are no other versions of life that will fit as well.
For times to come, let us be encouraged to find relief in Jesus. Life is heavy for many souls and seems to be getting heavier for the masses. But we are not alone in bearing the burden. As the refrain of Elisha Hoffman’s old hymn from 1893 says, “I must tell Jesus! I have to tell Jesus! I cannot carry my burdens alone; I have to tell Jesus! I have to tell Jesus! Jesus can help me – Jesus alone.
Tell Him today, and exchange your burden for His yoke. You will be amazed at the fit!
Ed Clevinger is minister of Grace Christian Church in Kingsport.
Ed Clevinger is minister
of Grace Christian Church