“WHAT DO YOU DO WITH REAL BURDENS?”

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Remember the old song “Take your Burdens to the Lord and Leave Them There?”  I often wondered what that song really meant in life.  I know those great verses too: “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never permit the righteous to be moved.” {Ps. 55:22}  And then there is Gal. 6:2 which says “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” And who can forget that great verse in I Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 

Let’s face it. Burdens are part of the “earthly life” package. You cannot escape them.  Something Chris Tiegreen said in his little book “Unburdened” got me to thnking about the whole burden issue: “The unburdened life is less about getting rid of our baggage than about carrying our loads with ease.”  Was it not Paul himself that taught us from his own experience that burdens aren’t always taken way? Sometimes burdens are allowed to stay so that God’s grace can be more greatly experienced in the life of the one who is carrying the burden.  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” {II Corinthians 12:9}  So, what do we do with real burdens that plague and trouble us?  Some people carry the burden of a wayward child while others are staggered by the load of poor health or economic hardship. Some are overwhelmed by guilt for past sins, while others struggle under the pressing weight of  failure. Those verses that tell us to Cast our burdens on the Lord is where we get relief.  The verb in this passage means literally “to throw onto Yahweh.” The whole verse then  reads very simply: “Throw onto Yahweh what is given you, and he–he will sustain you. He will never allow the faithful person to fall down.”   By virtue of the fact that God allows these burdens, ie, He gives them to us, then we are invited to give them back, “…indeed to throw them back, like a hot potato we do not wish to catch [Goldingay, Psalms vol. 2]. When you read this whole Psalm you discover that is what the Psalmist is doing as one long exercise.  I throw my tough experiences back on God with the trust that He will nourish me  [sustain me].  He may or may not remove the burden but I will survive the experience.  The bottom line is “trust.”  I trust him when I throw it back on him.  Tiegreen in his little book on burdens also observed that “We have to learn how to trust God to use crises as catalytic events in our lives.” God has specifically designed then certain burdens for us so that we can learn to trust him as we walk through those difficult experiences.  But…our relief comes when we throw them back on the one who gave them to us in the first place.  THINK IT THRU

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