…The Lord lifts the burdens of those bent beneath their loads…
Psalm 146: 8 (NLT)
All burdens are heavy, but most don’t weigh a single ounce. There are times in our lives when circumstances weigh us down like lead to the point of mental and physical exhaustion. It can be a lonely faithless time when we may feel grossly misunderstood to totally abandoned. Feelings of hopelessness may best express our condition. It is a time when the force of gravity may feel overwhelming.
Let’s face it, not an enjoyable experience. Yet, God in all his wisdom would have us consider these challenging circumstances as an opportunity to grow in him. It is the active process of spiritual maturation, a training exercise when God garners our undivided attention. It is a time of forthright self-evaluation, when our state of spiritual maturity invariably surfaces, blemishes and all. It is an awakening meant to center us in reality and challenge us to demonstrate an increasing level of spiritual maturity, patience, and fortitude.
What is our responsibility during these crucial episodes in our lives? Make no mistake; God is never closer to us than during these difficult times. It may not seem so, but he is monitoring our behavior ever so closely. Not to punish us but to effectively help us and ultimately bless us. We should, therefore, conduct ourselves from a position of integrity and trust, knowing that God, in his infinite love for each of us, is conducting his essential responsibility of building and strengthening our faith and character. So be encouraged and take heart, remaining vigilant to his comforting voice speaking only truth to us through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
God, in his great wisdom and compassion, knows how difficult it is for us to surrender all our seemingly difficult burdens to him. But, as the Scriptures so clearly promise, God will allow no burden to overcome us (see: Psalm 55: 22). Nothing builds more faith and trust into our own lives and joy into the heart of the Father than overcoming life’s toughest challenges by releasing our burdens to him, which, in turn, encourages us to move onward from one victory to another. Remember, the Lord never volunteered to share our burdens; he instead wants to lift them from us.
Dear Lord, help us to stay centered in you during our most trying times. Make our thoughts and actions reflect your own. And while we may want to hide or bolt from difficulty, give us the courage and endurance, through faith, to stand our ground so that we would grow stronger and more confident in you each and every day. Amen.
A F Fischer