Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Burden Bearer

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves" (Psalm 68:19).

My daughters and I used to play the board game “Pilgrims Progress” based on the classic book of that title. We each had little plastic pilgrim playing pieces complete with knapsack burdens fastened to our backs. When we reached the cross on the playing board, we unfastened our burdens and left them there. We then continued on to the Celestial City, using our armor and the Word to fight the attacks of the enemy along the way.

I carry many burdens on my own back, my physical ones being the heaviest. I can also become overwhelmed by current events and catastrophes, or by the struggles of others I know and care for. My shoulders are not meant to bear those weights. Jesus bore them on the cross and He is now in control of the outcomes. What I may be viewing as burdens to be removed as quickly as possible are in reality opportunities for God to show His love, power, and might, working out His perfect will and building faith and trust in the process.

How differently I would handle the cares of this world if I maintained the Biblical view of trials – that they are good and positive tools, protecting me from my controlling nature and keeping me totally reliant upon and trusting in God. This fallen world will never be free from burdens. I need to lay mine down at the foot of the cross daily – sometimes hourly or more. The Lord Himself then picks them up and takes care of them, every day. Why do I keep picking those knapsacks back up and hauling them around when I can walk in freedom? O Lord, set me free from my prison that I might praise Your name (Psalm 142:7).

Prayer: Gracious and loving God, may I have the self-discipline to give You my burdens daily and leave them there. Save me from my cares, and let me say with the psalmist, “I run in the path of Your commands, for you have set my heart free” (Psalm 119:32).  Amen.

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