What a beautiful day it is here at Beggars Tomb! The sun is shining and he feathered choir has been performing their little hearts out! This has been a busy week as I have been trying to format and bring together a new book and get it ready for publication. I must confess it is a much easier time writing the story than having to worry about all the other small details that go into getting it ready for others to read. I know though that the struggle and the aggravation will be worth it in he end when I am actually holding the completed project. Many times we all struggle through life. We as Christians are supposed to turn our struggles and tough times over to God to let him bear the brunt of their weight and force. That in itself sounds easy but as humans we tend to cling to things and worry about things. Surrendering these difficult situations to God can help bring us peace even when the throes of life are turbulent and unsure. Many times when I struggle with things I am reminded that the words of God are a comfort and an inspiration that are constantly reminding me to turn all of my burdens over to him.
“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
God is With you During Tough Times
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. “For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place.
1 Corinthians 2:9
but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
I remember one time my grandmother shared a story with me, it was an article actually and I have no idea where she found it and the only copy I have of it is the one I typed out from it on a typewriter (no computers were around then) This story has always had a very special place in my heart as it is a constant reminder that no matter how bad we may think we have we would sing under the weight of someone else’s burden and that it is best to leave all of our burdens at the foot of the cross.
“Why was my burden so heavy?” I slammed the bedroom door and leaned against it. Is there no rest from this life? I wondered. I stumbled to my bed and dropped onto it, pressing my pillow around my ears to shut out the noise of my existence.
“Oh God,” I cried, “let me sleep. Let me sleep forever and never wake up! With a deep sob I tried to will myself into oblivion, then welcomed the blackness that came over me. Light surrounded me as I regained consciousness. I focused on its source: the figure of a man standing before a cross.
“My child,” the person asked, “why did you want to come to Me before I am ready to call you?”
“Lord, I’m sorry. It’s just that . . . I can’t go on. You see how hard it is for me. Look at this awful burden on my back. I simply can’t carry it anymore.”
“But haven’t I told you to cast all of your burdens upon Me, because I care for you? My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
“I knew You would say that. But why’s mine have to be so heavy?”
“My child, everyone in the world has a burden. Perhaps you would like to try a different one?”
“I can do that?”
He pointed to several burdens lying at His feet. “You may try any of these.” All of them seemed to be of equal size. But each was labeled with a name.
“There’s Joan’s,” I said. Joan was married to a wealthy businessman. She lived in a sprawling estate and dressed her three daughters in the prettiest designer clothes. Sometimes she drove me to church in her Cadillac when my car was broken. “Let me try that one.” How difficult could her burden be? I thought. The Lord removed my burden and placed Joan’s on my shoulders. I sank to my knees beneath its weight. “Take it off!” I said. “What makes it so heavy?”
“Look inside.” I untied the straps and opened the top.
Inside was a figure of her Mother-in-law, and when I lifted it out, it began to speak. “Joan, you’ll never be good enough for my son,” it began. “He never should have married you. You’re a terrible mother to my grandchildren…”
I quickly placed the figure back in the pack and withdrew another. It was Donna, Joan’s youngest daughter. Her head was bandaged from the surgery that had failed to resolve her epilepsy. A third figure was Joan’s brother. Addicted to drugs, he had been convicted of killing a police officer. “I see why her burden is so heavy, Lord. But she’s always smiling and helping others. I didn’t realize…”
“Would you like to try another?” He asked quietly.
I tested several. Paula’s felt heavy: She was raising four small boys without a father. Debra’s did too: a childhood of sexual abuse and a marriage of emotional abuse. When I came to Ruth’s burden, I didn’t even try. I knew that inside I would find arthritis, old age, a demanding full-time job, and a beloved husband in a nursing home.
“They’re all too heavy, Lord” I said. “Give back my own.” As I lifted the familiar load once again, It seemed much lighter than the others.
“Lets look inside” He said. I turned away, holding it close.
“That’s not a good idea,” I said. “Why?” “There’s a lot of junk in there.”
“Let Me see.” The gentle thunder of His voice compelled me. I opened my burden. He pulled out a brick.
“Tell me about this one.”
“Lord, You know. It’s money. I know we don’t suffer like people in some countries or even the homeless here in America. But we have no insurance, and when the kids get sick, we can’t always take them to the doctor. They’ve never been to see a dentist. And I’m tired of dressing them in hand-me-downs.”
“My child, I’ll supply all of your needs… and your children’s. I’ve given them healthy bodies. I will teach them that expensive clothing doesn’t make a person valuable in My sight.” Then He lifted out the figure of a small boy. “And this?” He asked.
“Andrew…” I hung my head, ashamed to call my son a burden.
“But, Lord, he’s hyperactive. He’s not quiet like the other two. He makes me so tired. He’s always getting hurt, and someone is bound to think I abuse him. I yell at him all the time. Someday I may really hurt him…”
“My child,” He said, “if you trust Me, I will renew your strength, and if you allow Me to fill you with My Spirit, I’ll give you patience.”
Then He took some pebbles from my burden.
“Yes, Lord,” I said with a sigh. “Those are small. But they’re important. I hate my hair. It’s thin, and I can’t make it look nice. I can’t afford to go to the beauty shop. I’m overweight and can’t stay on a diet. I hate my clothes. I hate the way I look!”
“My child, people look at your outward appearance, but I look at your heart. By My Spirit you can gain self-control to lose weight. But your beauty should not come from outward appearance. Instead, it should come from your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in My sight.”
My burden now seemed lighter than before. “I guess I can handle it now.”
“There is more,” He said. “Hand Me that last brick.”
“Oh, You don’t have to take that. I can handle it.”
“My child, give it to Me.” His voice compelled me. He reached out His hand, and for the first time I saw the ugly wound.
“But, Lord, this brick is so awful, so nasty, so… Lord! What happened to Your hands? They’re so scarred!” No longer focused on my burden, I looked for the first time into His face. In His brow were ragged scars — as though someone had pressed thorns into His flesh. “Lord,” I whispered. “What happened to You?” His loving eyes reached into my soul.
“My child, hand Me the brick. It belongs to Me. I bought it.”
“With My blood.”
“But why, Lord?”
“Because I have loved you with and everlasting love. Give it to Me.” I placed the filthy brick into His wounded palm. It contained all the dirt and evil of my life: my pride, my selfishness, the depression that constantly tormented me.
He turned to the cross and hurled my brick into the pool of blood at it’s base. It hardly made a ripple.
“Now, My child, you need to go back. I will be with you always. When you are troubled, call to Me and I will help you and show you things you cannot imagine now.”
“Yes, Lord, I will call on You.” I reached to pick up my burden.
“You may leave that here if you wish. You see all these burdens?
They’re the ones others have left at My feet. Joan’s, Paula’s, Debra’s, Ruth’s… When you leave your burden here, I carry it with you. Remember, My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
As I placed my burden with Him, the light began to fade. Yet I heard Him whisper, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” A wonderful peace flooded my soul.
John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”