Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burdens (Ps 68:19)
We live in one of the most affluent, wealthy, secure areas of the world, at a period of history totally unparalleled for abundance and affluence. When we want a drink we only have to turn on a tap. When we feel peckish between meals, the fridge has plenty to offer. When we fancy a night at the movies, no problem (even if Covid19 means we have to choose from the many options on our large-screen TV). And when was the last time you waited till your only pair of shoes had holes in before you looked for a new pair?
And yet we have an outrageously high proportion of our population suffering from clinical depression, chronic anxiety, migraine-inducing panic over a myriad of details in our lives. Every one of us is familiar with the burdens of frustration, helplessness, anger even, when faced with family problems we don’t know how to solve, financial issues we never quite get on top of, health problems that keep coming back, silly arguments with those closest to us…….
What’s going on? The psalmist declares that God ‘daily bears our burdens’. But does that mean He will wrestle them from you? Will God deny you the opportunity to cling to your burdens and wallow in the anxieties and stress, if you choose to? I don’t think so. Jesus says ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me… and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’. (Mt 11:28-30)
Come …. Take ….
According to Nicky Gumbel, John Newton wrote ‘We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it’.
God ‘daily bears our burdens’ if we come to Him and give them to Him – and resist the urge to grab them back again! ‘Take my yoke upon you’ – that is, get in step with me, ‘keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly’ (Mt 11:29-30 The Message)
PS If you’re not familiar with The Message version of the Scripture, have a look at this:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I will show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Mt 11:28-30)