Growing up we moved a lot. One of the fun challenges of moving was trying to figure out how to fit everything into the U-Haul truck. Watching my Dad, I learned three important principles for packing a truck. First, evaluate what needs to be moved. Whatever is heaviest or large gets packed first (or on the bottom) and some things just need to be left behind or given away. Second, to protect the back from injury, always lift from the legs when carrying heavy or awkward objects. Third, work as a team—don’t try to carry something that is too heavy alone. I suspect those principles have spiritual applications.
Perhaps you carry the emotional luggage of an abusive past. You may struggle with marital or family problems. Maybe your health is constantly under attack. Could it be that you have a boss that is corrupt or unkind? The prophet Elijah knew what it was like to carry a burden. He fled an evil queen intent on taking his life. Exhausted from running, he prayed to God, “I have had enough! Lord, take my life, for I’m no better than my fathers” (1 Kings 19:4b). Elijah was so depressed he lost the ability to have a clear perspective towards his problems. Can you relate?
All of us carry burdens. The question is are we carrying loads God never meant us to lift? King David wrote, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22). David understood that there were troubles He could give over to the Lord. God would provide the relief he needed.
Lifting from the legs utilizes different muscle groups to evenly distribute the challenge of maneuvering weight. Instead of trying to carry his problems on his shoulder David noted, “May the Lord be praised! Day after day He bears our burdens; God is our salvation” (Psa.68:19). David relied upon God to help him handle trouble. Burdens take on new meaning if I realize the Lord is with me every day to help me. This is why Jesus says to us in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Note that Jesus did not promise that our burdens would go away but rather that He would give us rest. Just knowing that He cares can fortify us to deal with whatever we are bearing.
Finally, there are many times because of pride or insecurity we fail to let others help us overcome problems. The Apostle Paul counseled the Galatians to “Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). It’s a sign of wisdom, not weakness, to know when to ask for help! It’s also a sign of maturity to comprehend the struggle someone else endures and bring relief.
If a burden and its resulting pressure come upon us while we are not in an attitude of worship, it will only produce a hardness toward God and despair in our own souls.—Oswald Chambers inMy Utmost For His Highest
©2004Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)