A wonderful teacher and writer Max Lucado has a TV series called Traveling Light. It talks of the burdens we carry through life that we cause or from what others might do to us. Whatever, they become heavier over time if we do not unburden ourselves. This process is simple but not always easy however. You see, it usually entails forgiving the person who hurt us, even ourselves and for some, God. Lucado uses Psalm 23 as a Scripture text for his teaching. It speaks of walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Yet this well known verse says that we will be walking through. It also says that it is the shadow of death, which cannot hurt you. The shadow talks to the fact that Jesus Christ has overcome death on the cross and in so doing has forgiven all of our sins and taken all of our burdens. The verse finishes with saying to fear no evil because the Shepherd’s rod and staff guide, protect and comfort us on our journey, if we trust in the One who did it for us.
Jesus said, “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” (Matthew 11:28-30). Many of you have heard this teaching yet few have caste their burdens upon the Lord. In 1 Peter 5:6-7 we read, “Humble yourselves, therefore under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety (cares) upon Him because He cares for you.” God is saying, throw it down and I will take it up. Actually He says, “I will lift you up in due time.” In the perfect timing, when the burden has been dropped or the lesson learned, the weight will be gone and/or you will have walked through the lonesome valley to the other side. Are you sick of traveling burdened? Then as the song Traveling Light, by Sara Groves says, drop it. www.lyrics007.com/Sara%20Groves%20Lyrics/Traveling%20Light
I have been writing a lot on forgiveness and reconciliation as it seems that mankind just wants to hold grudges and be uncivil to one another, forgetting the Greatest Commandment, which is “Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). In so doing, we are taking on God’s strength to do something that is really impossible without Him. Those that have unconfessed sins are burdened and not right with God. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify (cleanse us) of all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This verse is penultimate in understanding our standing with God, we must confess and repent to be forgiven. And if we don’t forgive we are not forgiven. This is pretty commanding instruction. I love a few verses before this that say, “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, the Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7). Light shows the way and light heals. We need light to see and through it all is revealed; nothing is hidden. He knows it all and wants us to come to Him and drop our burdens down. Carry the load no more. He will take it from you. AMEN