Daily Devotional


Carrying a Burden

by Simon Whitton

12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out-- the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her.
13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry."
14 Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!"
15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
16 They were all filled with awe and praised God.  "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said.  "God has come to help his people."

Luke 7:12-16 (NIV)

A funeral is often a miserable experience, where emotions, memories, regrets and perhaps even fear of the future may come to the surface.  The weight of the young man's body that they were carrying could represent the weight of their grief and emotions.

We often go through life like someone who is going about mourning, not carrying an actual body, but carrying another burden.  Perhaps it is the burden of poor health, finances, fear, sin or guilt, or maybe you are anxious about someone or a specific situation.  This burden weighs us down making us feeble. We feel crushed, and it causes us anguish and misery in our hearts, even affecting those around us.

4 My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.
5 My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.
6 I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning.
7 My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.
8 I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.
9 All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.

Psalm 38:4-10 (NIV)

Perhaps you think the Lord has forgotten you; and you are trying to carry the weight of this burden alone.  Your solution is possibly to try to put it out of your mind, to bury it.  But the Lord sees you and your sighing is not hidden from Him.  All the longings of your heart lie open before the Lord.  His heart goes out to you.  He has great compassion for those who are burdened.

But like those who carried the coffin of the young man, stop moving towards the graveyard, stand still and allow the Lord to touch your concern, to speak into your situation.  Allow Him to minister directly to your source of heaviness, and know that the Lord is able to do the impossible.

Spend some time in prayer and tell the Lord how you've been struggling with this burden, and that your own strength is not enough.  Look to the Lord to release you from the burden you are carrying.  Remain still before Him, and know that He sees it all, nothing is hidden from Him.  Allow Him to speak to you.


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