Burden Bearers

Friday, May 6, 2022
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Psalm 55:22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (NIV)

One of the greatest burdens in ministry, as well as in other counselling or caring professions, is the amount of indifference that we come across from folks we attempt to help or try to support. I can remember in Scotland spending many hours each week with drug addicts and alcoholics, trying to enable them to overcome their addictions by inserting faith into their lives. I felt compelled to do this because I had come through the same sort of experiences. I wanted to show them the path to Christ which I had found, for I believed (and still do) that it would potentially enable them to begin again.

Sometimes, it worked, but most of the time, they reverted to their old ways, habits, and addictions. Looking back, I would say that about twenty percent changed their lives, and today, I am still thankful to God for sustaining them. As for the others, they drifted away, and some of them ended up dying at an early age. It broke my heart to see this happening.

Over the years, in both Scotland and the USA, God has allowed me to help others to overcome troubles, to deal with their addictions, and even to avoid going to prison, but the resulting numbers of success are still the same. About twenty percent are grateful for what God has done in their lives and take every opportunity to serve, worship, and praise Him when they can. Four out of every five, however, don't feel that need to be challenged or changed, faithful or thankful, so they just move on. It's sad to see, and it still breaks my heart, but no doubt, other pastors, counsellors, and caring professionals feel and say the same.

So, next time you have burdens to share with pastors or professional counsellors, remember that there are people behind those titles. They will certainly do all that they can to help and guide you, but they cannot make you change; only you can do that part. However, please know this: with God's help, it is less difficult to accomplish.

Question: Have I ever sought help from a pastor or a counsellor? Do I pray for them?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are our Guide and Comforter, but You also provide caring counsellors and loving leaders to help us through challenging times. May we not take them for granted but keep them in our prayers. In Your holy name, we humbly ask. Amen.

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About the author:

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

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true! I enjoyed this.

    A sad but true truth, John.

    So challenging but what important work you do! Thanks for sharing and God bless John!

    Thanks, John, for another of your interesting and informative devotionals. Blessings for writing.

    Thank you for sharing this heartfelt devotional with us. May God bless your efforts to help those who feel no need for God. I was such a one back in the day. Blessings.

    Good morning, John,
    Thank you for your devotional this morning, the good question, and the good advice.

    YES, John! Just at the right time for me. And at a time that I send up prayers for YOU! There is a hymn that begins: ‘Let us not grow weary in the work of love – send a light, send a light.’ And of course, that ‘light’ is Christ (the hope of the world and our strong rock of ages.

    Thank you, John; I enjoyed you devotion this morning.
    For every 100 people; if we can influence just a few, we are doing very well.
    We must just keep on trying; but don’t make the mistake of lording over our charges,
    pass them our message as a friend.
    Thanks and keep on submitting to our devotions,

    Hi John,
    This devotion today reminds me of the sermon at presbytery meeting recently. The pastor was reminding us they were just like us and needed to be reached out to, thanked, and prayed for. He felt pastors were left out of prayers as people felt they were not needed for them.
    Thank you for the reminder.

    HI John
    In my 35 years of ministry I too endeavored to help many hundreds with addiction problems – with similar results as yours. It gave me great joy to witness lives turned around, and great sadness with refusal.
    In fact, I write this while waiting for a young man, whom I took in last night, to wake up so we might hopefully begin his journey to faith in Christ.
    Thanks for your timely devotional. I’m going to read parts of it to him.

    Hello again, John, always ready for your words we all need. I’m a PK and PW, so the majority of my life, saw what they what they went through. Even as a child, I seemed to sense what was going on. Daddy spent so much time prayer for others when he needed some help himself. I remember how I loved to climb in his lap to make him feel better.
    As for my husband, his calling came after we were married, so we faced 7 years of college and seminary ahead and through it all, I always said that he worked so hard as a student pastor on weekends that many pastors in a week. We had babes during those years!! There were many times I over the years when I was the one to depend on the Lord’s guidance to bring comfort and encouragement. As a Chaplain’s wife there were many phone calls for help.
    May the Lord bless you and yours richly,

    Dear John:
    I was thinking yesterday that I haven’t read a devotional from you lately and here you are! Great!
    I am a recovering alcoholic, sober for over 40 years. I am grateful everyday for my sobriety and the help of people in AA but mostly I am grateful to God.
    Some years ago now I was also addicted to smoking. I was finally hospitalized because I had another case of bronchitis and was having a hard time breathing. Two friends of mine came to visit me in hospital and they prayed over me for this addiction to leave me. It did. I had smoked a couple of packs a day. I didn’t use any nicotine gum or patches or any other method to stop. God did it for me.
    I just wanted to thank you for your devotionals. They mean a lot to me and have really inspired to me to do better in my walk of faith.
    God bless you John and thank you.

    Good morning, John,
    It is so true, that if we don’t walk in someone else’s shoes, we do not know how life impacts them. Sometimes we can get a glimpse like you have given to us today from the perspective of a pastor or professional counsellor.
    I actually find that 20 percent is higher than I thought it might be. I know that is a disappointing result because we want to be able to rescue everyone. I understand that faith is in God’s control, but that it is hard to live with when there are so many people struggling. One experience that helped me was when a grandmother talked with me about her grandson committing suicide and how she was able to gain peace and continue forward. I was helped by this sharing.
    I learned from you today that importance of praying for those who are tasked with helping others and the strength and uplifting that they need to continue on.
    Thank you for sharing so honestly from your experience. Thank you for wakening in me this need which I did not understand. May you know that your sharing helps others to grow in understanding and where there is a need for prayer. Blessings.

    Hi John,
    I am working at Teen Challenge Canada as a spiritual formations coach, working with men who are trying to overcome addiction. I appreciate your devotional.

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