My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers - April 13
We must recognize the difference between burdens that are right for us to bear and burdens that are wrong. We should never bear the burdens of sin or doubt, but there are some burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off. God wants us to roll them back on Him— to literally “cast your burden,” which He has given you, “on the Lord...” If we set out to serve God and do His work but get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility we feel will be overwhelming and defeating. But if we will only roll back on God the burdens He has placed on us, He will take away that immense feeling of responsibility, replacing it with an awareness and understanding of Himself and His presence.
Many servants set out to serve God with great courage and with the right motives. But with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, they are soon defeated. They do not know what to do with their burden, and it produces weariness in their lives. Others will see this and say, “What a sad end to something that had such a great beginning!”
“Cast your burden on the Lord...” You have been bearing it all, but you need to deliberately place one end on God’s shoulder. “...the government will be upon His shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6). Commit to God whatever burden He has placed on you. Don’t just cast it aside, but put it over onto Him and place yourself there with it. You will see that your burden is then lightened by the sense of companionship. But you should never try to separate yourself from your burden.
I just read about triage in medical ethics. In short, in times of emergency, there is a need to classify patient treatment priorities by probabilities. The goal of triage is to maximize the number of survivors. In other words, to deliberately choose to let some die, so that more may live.
I would be terrible at that job.
I don't think I would be able to live with the decisions made for one life should perish for the sake of the survival of more. Yes it makes sense, if I don't do it, more people would die. Yet, to deliberately pass by one who is dying, to reject helping the person...
And so it is with my life. I shared today with a few friends about how I felt, and was asked questions and given responses. It helped me sort out my thoughts and feelings a little better, and I realise that what bothers me the most wasn't being chided, or that I should have handled things better from the beginning, or anything like that.
What I really felt was something really familiar to me. Which is the feeling of being overwhelmed by so much to do. About how broken the world is and how much it needs fixing. And I know I can't carry the world on my shoulders, so I pick and choose and try to carry a few particular things. Yet they weigh me down all the same. Not just the things I choose to carry, but even things I don't carry haunt me because I feel their presence and how I am not doing anything for them.
I've heard it before. The same old thing, and I realise it's something that has been ongoing in my life for years, and it still bothers me the same. I know the theology. I know Martha and Mary, I know about light yokes and burdens.
Yet it is a struggle still. I know that outcomes are not my responsibility, but yet all the same I feel a deep desire to want to see things happen, to want to make things happen. But I can't. Twenty four hours a day, and just two hands. That, and a sinful nature that still creeps up sometimes and hinders me from doing the things I really want to do.
God didn't call me to fix the world. God didn't call me to cure the world. It is He who can fix and who can cure. I know this, but I have trouble living it out.
In the end, I suspect it makes me do less than more really. The weight of burdens can cause great inertia. You feel that you want to change something, but because of the enormity of what lies ahead, you are inhibited and end up not doing much at all really. In fact, sometimes I feel like I take part in things which I feel for but don't do much in them. I intentionally prioritise them over other things in my life, forcing myself to do it because I believe it to be important, but during the time given for it, I quite frankly don't know what I am doing.
Against my inner compulsions to want to make things happen, to want to makes all things beautiful, I need to learn. I am not God. If I truly believe that God is the Lord of all, the one who is in control, then I must accept that these burdens are not mine to carry.
Jesus had said to his disciples that the poor will always be around, but He would not always be with them. In the same way, there will always be work to be done. Despite it all, I need to learn, first and foremost, to sit at the feet of Jesus.