Tuesday, June 14, 2016


This is the way I heard the story: Someone was trying to make a point about the negative consequences of hanging on to a burden or problem too long. 

He raised a glass partly full of water over his head. Everyone expected him to ask the classic question: “Is the glass half empty or half full?”

Instead he asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

He replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not really a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll probably have to call an ambulance. I will be ready to collapse. My entire body and mind will be severely affected. In each case the weight remains constant, but the longer I hold it the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "and that's the way it is with the stress of our problems. If we carry our burdens for a prolonged duration, sooner or later they become too heavy to bear. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down and rest before picking it up again. When you're refreshed, you can carry on with the problem, if it's still unresolved. At least at the close of each day, lay all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the night.” 
Isn't there a better solution? We need to be rid of the burden entirely, not simply pause to take it up again. Jesus said, “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest....My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Scripture instructs, “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you.” It's better not to carry our burden at all. As soon as we become aware of it, cast it on the Lord and let Him shoulder it.

Why do I insist on carrying my own burdens? I am like a man who is carrying a literal heavy load that almost weighs him down. He gets into an elevator and instead of putting down his burden while he ascends to his destination, he continues to embrace it, staggering under its weight, as the elevator takes him upward.

We deceive ourselves if we think that we are wise enough to solve our problems or strong enough to keep bearing them indefinitely. Pride may be behind our reluctance to hand our burdens to God. As the hymn writer correctly composed, “Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.”

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