Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Carrying Burdens

“Nana, I want to hold him,” she said. 

“Well, you’ll have to sit on the sofa and I’ll put him in your lap,” I responded.

My sweet granddaughter thinks she is so big and she’s only three. Her little brother looks so small to her and she thinks she can carry him around like her parents and grandparents do. He’s only 11 months old. We would never dream of just handing him to her to cart around, but with our help she can hold up the precious load. 

I can do it myself! A statement we’ve all quoted at some point in our lives. From toddlers to seniors, we consider ourselves self-sufficient. At times we believe ourselves to be big enough to handle troubles. The truth is none of us are able to go it alone, enduring life’s stresses. And if we try to shoulder a heavy burden, we’re sure to drop it at some point. That’s where God and loving friends come into our lives, if we allow them entry.

Peaceful, unencumbered times in my life occur when I lay my burdens at the feet of Jesus! He is faithful to come alongside of me, filling me with His peace. Sometimes He’s even carried me when I really couldn’t go any further. Praise God He is there waiting for us to request His assistance! And because He knows we need not only spiritual guidance but physical support, He’ll send people to us to be His hands and feet. 

Oh how sweet the times when acquaintances, friends, and family bear one another’s burdens and comfort each other! I’ve encountered many delightful moments in fellowship with friends and family. When I’ve needed help, they always show up and I believe God sends them. 

Over ten years ago I went back to work full time at a high school. I missed the weekly Bible studies I used to attend, and after making new friends, I asked if anyone wanted to pray and study God’s Word once a week before work. Thank God for positive responses. A group of us ladies began meeting early every Wednesday morning. As we studied the Scriptures, we began praying for our families, as well as staff and students at our school. It was refreshing to meet fellow Christians in the hallways, sharing faith in Christ and shining His light to others. 

During this time I encountered several of life’s daunting difficulties. My college-aged daughter began dating someone who influenced her in such a way that she withdrew from family and friends. Our once loving relationship shattered from extreme pain. Around the same time my dad encountered several problems after knee surgery and died. My world turned upside down, my tears began falling constantly, and I questioned God.

Those dear friends God blessed me with at work noticed my agony. Whenever they had a free moment, they would pull me into a room, shut the door, quote God’s encouraging Word, and pray with me. It was the cord I needed to hang onto a life worth living. These people of God helped me bear my burdens and lifted life’s load with the grace of God. Those encouraging moments enabled me to live one day at a time, waiting expectantly for God’s promises to infiltrate my life and heal my heart. Peace eventually surrounded me. I give all the praise to God Almighty for His wondrous deeds of love! He is faithful and He will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24)! The Lord is faithful and He will strengthen you (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

There are no sweeter words than the words of God. He’s given them to us through the mouths of humans who recorded them in the Scriptures. The Word of God has been preserved for thousands of generations and continues to provide solace for hurting hearts. Allow the precious promises from His Word to penetrate your soul as you read with your eyes, hear with your ears, and listen with your heart.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9 (NIV)
I am a companion of all those who fear You,
And of those who keep Your precepts. 
Psalm 119:63 (NASB)

It was so pleasant when 
    together we entered God’s house with the crowd.  Psalm 55:14 (CEB)

Oh, how good, how pleasant it is
for brothers to live together in harmony.
It is like fragrant oil on the head
that runs down over the beard,
over the beard of Aharon,
and flows down on the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon
that settles on the mountains of Tziyon.
For it was there that Adonai ordained
the blessing of everlasting life. 
Psalm 133 (CJB)

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
    who daily bears our burdens.
Our God is a God who saves;
    from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death. 
Psalm 68:19-20 (NIV)

“Cast your burden on the Lord—
    he will support you!
    God will never let the righteous be shaken!” 
Psalm 55:22 (CEB)

“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,
    and have carried since you were born. 
Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” 
Isaiah 46:3-4 (NIV)

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)

Praise God for His goodness and mercy! Thank you, Jesus, for blessing us with your presence and the gift of companionship. May we love You through our service to others. In Your precious Name, AMEN.

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