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Listen to This Devotional: "Share The Load"
Friday, June 11, 2021
Share The Load
Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (NIV)
With more than 2,000 miles to walk, he chose carefully what to put in his backpack.
World War II was over, and Earl Shaffer needed to walk it out of his system. He chose the Appalachian (or Government) Trail to do so. At the time, the trail began at Oglethorpe, Georgia, USA, and extended to Mount Katahdin, Maine. Since most of the men had been away fighting in the war, the trail had fallen into disrepair, making the journey more challenging.
Earl's motto was, "Carry as little as possible but choose that little with care." And he did. He carried a survival tent, poncho, rain hat, knife, axe, sewing kit, snake-bite kit, cook kit, clothing, and a week's worth of food. Even though he chose the bare minimum to put in his pack, he still felt loaded down.
Because of Earl's training and determination — and because he chose with care what he carried — he became the first person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.
I've done a little backpacking myself, and I know how important it is to choose my load with care. My first extended backpacking trip with my daughter revealed that I hadn't learned Earl's wisdom. My pack weighed in at fifty pounds and my daughter's at thirty-five. Though we had fun, we also experienced misery because of unnecessary weight. Our loads slowed us down and gave us a backache.
What Paul states in today's verse makes common sense. Any burden shared is lighter. Jesus said that the load of obeying Him was easy, so if following Him is causing me misery, I must be doing something wrong.
Burdens are cumbersome when I carry the wrong things in my life's pack. They might include bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, immorality, depression, frustration, hurt, or lies. When I carry unhealthy emotions, actions, or relationships, my soul aches, and no one wants to help me bear them.
My helping others and their helping me also makes the load lighter. Many people helped Earl along the way, making his journey more bearable. People took him to get food and supplies. People gave him a place to stay out of the inclement mountain weather. Giving others permission to hold me accountable, helping others to bear their life loads, and depending on God for strength are all vital.
Don't try to do life alone. Share the load.
Prayer: Father, motivate us to carry each other's loads, and most of all, to depend on You for strength to do so. Amen.
Today's Bible Verse2: Jeremiah 29:11 – "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV) Today's Daily Manna3: Psalm 119:89 – Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven. (NLT) Today's Bible Reading3: Acts 11:19-30 Today's One-Year Scripture Passage4: Leviticus 1-3 Today's Two-Year Scripture Passages5: 2 Chronicles 30-31; 1 Timothy 4:6-16
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Worldwide Ministry posted on 6/11/2021
In Spain — Moroccans — Ask that God would use workers, who are welcome and an influence by offering classes in Spanish, English, Art, Sewing, or Computer Science. Ask that many Moroccans would be open to hear the Gospel as a result of the life skills classes that are offered.
More On "Idabell", originally posted on 4/13/2021
Please pray for peace of mind and comfort for Idabell, a loving, caring, Christian woman, who has... (more) Update posted on 6/10/2021: Please continue to pray for Idabell asking that she will feel God's comforting presence with her every day, as well as the strong love and caring of family and friends. Please pray that God will grant her husband and son strength and comfort as they continue to help out with her care at home and grant their other son and family (who live in another province) peace of mind. They all rely on God's love and promises as they go through this journey and are very grateful for your prayers. Thank you!
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Proverbs 6:20 – My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching. (NIV)
Today's Daily Manna
2 Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (ESV)