Burden Bearer

October 6, 2004

Matthew 11:28-30 – 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, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (NIV)

My mother was schizophrenic, and she suffered from that mental condition for 25 years. It was a torturous illness, and a terrifying experience for all of my family. I remember that most kids in our subdivision went off joyfully to school, knowing that they were coming back to their loving parents at night. In our house, it was different. The person who sent me and my siblings to school in the morning sometimes wasn't the same person when we all got back home. It was a heavy burden to bear and one that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

So how did we cope with all of this? We didn't. We just suppressed it deep inside our souls or carried it invisibly across our backs, weeping within ourselves or whimpering under our blankets at night.

Then one day, the old minister at our school, who was also called John Stewart, read those verses from Matthew and spoke about all our burdens being shared with Jesus. He also talked about Christian in Pilgrim's Progress and how that tormented character got rid of his gigantic burden at the foot of Christ's cross. It was a beautiful message and one that still brings tears to my eyes.

I knew then, as I still know today, that Jesus is my burden-bearer, and when I spiritually handed over my mom, her illness, my family, and my fears to Him, I discovered that He carried my burden by carrying me.

I don't know what you're going through today, but this I do know: Jesus can carry us and all our burdens. It's a wonderful feeling because He's a wonderful Lord.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, sometimes we find it hard to get through those heavy days when duties and responsibilities, illnesses and crises, troubles and problems hit us all at once. When we are weak, be our strength. When we are weary, be our rest. When we are burdened, carry us. In Your holy name. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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