But in the meantime, we are going to have some other things put on us. This world is not giving us trophies for following Jesus. As we walk through life we have cares and concerns. Sometimes these are people, other times they are circumstances. Either way, they are real. The Bible does not diminish what we are going through, though at times it does remind us to keep our troubles in proper perspective.
Last night as I was driving through the parking lot of a shopping center, I noticed some homeless people sleeping in doorways. I immediately praised God for the fact that I have a warm place to sleep in the winter, a cool place to sleep in the summer, and (mostly) dry when it rains. I got home to find that I had received a couple of pieces of mail that were less than desirable. I immediately began to become agitated over this. I didn’t like how I was feeling and wondered how I could go from being so thankful for my situation to being so disturbed at my situation.
I was right to be thankful for my living conditions. Homeless people have problems I don’t have. I know about this quite well because of my decade-long work with the homeless and chronically poor. But just because I don’t have their problems does not mean I don’t have problems. I actually have problems they don’t have. Many of them have no bills, or very few. I do. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t trade problems with them. But the fact is, each of us has our own issues with which we must contend. Just as a homeless person must trust God with their problems, I must trust God with mine. Neither is more valuable. Each has its own merit.
Even kings deal with problems that test their limits. King David wrote the following in a song…
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22)
The idea is that we literally hurl our cares, our concerns onto God. He can handle your problems, no matter your station in life. You can try to carry them and be frustrated. Or you can throw them onto Him and be freed. We weren’t created to carry our problems to our own demise. We were created to trust God. That doesn’t mean that we won’t have to deal with some stuff along the way. But Christ is not a casual observer. He is the One who bears us up.
What is your burden today? Are you going to try and carry it alone? Are you going to let it break your back and take your joy? Or are you going to throw it onto God and experience the victory that comes with surrender?
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.