Friday, June 24, 2016

Carrying Burdens We Are Not Meant to Carry

On my long eight-mile walk yesterday morning, I passed a man who was carrying weights in each hand. He didn't look like he was having fun at all. It was a blistery hot day, and the weights looked heavy. His face was red, and he was pouring sweat. He didn't smile as I passed him. He grimaced.

Well, at least he was getting stronger. Carrying weights does make us stronger...depending on the weight we carry. As those thoughts traipsed around in my head, I realized God was sending another message.

We all carry burdens. Some are burdens God would gladly lift from us. They don't make us stronger; they cause despair and make the journey miserable. We may think we cannot put them down, but that is a lie of the enemy. Burdens of anger, fear,  unforgiveness, despair at the injustice we endure from the world, desire for revenge. Those burdens destroy us from the inside out. If we don't put them down, they will crush us.

There are burdens we are supposed to carry. The burden to love one another, to seek to save the lost, to care for the weak, to stand up for the powerless, and to comfort those who are hurting. Those are burdens God places upon us that we should hoist no matter the cost. When we carry those burdens, we grow stronger in the Lord.

After my long walk, I went kayaking. The wind was so strong that there were whitecaps on the water. It was pretty hard kayaking against the wind, and the waves were smacking over my hull.

I felt like that hot, sweaty man carrying those heavy weights. Then I turned around. I let the wind carry me effortlessly back to the dock.

Turn around to Jesus, my beloved friends. Lay down your burdens and He will carry you.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Matthew 11: 28

As my second reconstruction surgery approaches July 1, I find myself worrying and fearful. Please pray friends that I would enter this with calm assurance.

John 13:34-35 

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.

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