“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
–Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
Many times the loads which we cary, are ones that we have manufactured.
If you are not a hiker, you can relate to what I am about to tell you. I once went on a hiking trip, and I didn’t have much experience climbing mountains to say the least. As I walked, my pack of supplies began to feel unbearably heavy. Fortunately for me, someone noticed this, and they showed me how to protect my shoulders. By putting my thumbs underneath the straps, I was able to trudge on a little further. Needless to say, I was elated when I could finally put my pack down, and I sighed with relief.
I have to tell you that I haven’t been on any more trips like that again. Now all of my camping is done in hotels where elavators do the climbing for me, and my idea of roughing it is missing my morning coffee and the continental breakfast.
But a few years ago, I was exasperated to find that I still struggled with similar weights, although this time my load was composed of pain and loss. The mental nagging was constant, and I tried various avenues to rid myself of these negative feelings, but problems continued to haunt me day and night. At this time, I was involved in Christian work, but I lived a kind of double life. I would say and do all the right things on the surface, but behind the scenes I participated in a lifestyle I knew to be wrong. Unlike my physical load in the mountains, my backpack was now crammed with selfishness and rationalization. I couldn’t put my proverbial pack down, and I tried to cary the load of guilt and grief on my own. While I had heard about God’s peace and joy for years, I was still stressed out, and I would not allow Him to carry my burden.
If you need to share the load which you cary, contact the online Chaplain at, 507.369.6861.
While I wish I could tell you that my transformation happened overnight, it certainly didn’t. God is still sanding off a lot of rough edges I’ve picked up in the school of life, but I would like to share some things with you that I have learned.
In order to do that, I need to ask you a question. Which is larger, the size of your problem or the size of your God?
please recall a story from the book of Acts with me. In Philipi, Paul and Silas were beaten and locked in a cold and damp prison cell. They had both received bleeding and open wounds, and heavy chains bound their hands and feet. The false charges that were leveled against them were stirring up the people. When the people believed in Jesus and turned from the girl who was being used to tell their fortunes, it affected the livelyhood of that business owner. In response, he started a riot and turned the masses against the two Christian missionaries.
Talk about problems! This story makes my own troubles look minute by comparison. But Paul and Silas’s response was truly amazing. They praised God in spite of their circumstances, and the prison doors miraculously opened.
Let’s take a closer lookat this story, and see how God’s power can become a reality in all of our lives. While thinking about that narrative, I had to ask myself what motivated Paul and Silas. For all intents and purposes, their world had just been turned upside down.
I believe the pivotal factor can be found when we examine Paul’s understanding of who God is. As you examine his letters, you get a picture of the God who Paul and Silas knew intimately–a God of majesty and grandeur.
Paul’s letters also tell us how these characteristics pervaded Paul’s lifestyle. This isn’t a concept which prevails today. For most people, God is either characterized as a tyranical being who couldn’t care less about us individually, or a perpetually nice guy who accepts everybody.
Instead of believing in these false ideas, we need to let the God of the Bible captivate us, meditating on His strength and ability, as Paul and Silas obviously did that night in prison.
We can choose to dwell on our problems, or we can start to surmount them by hiding God’s Word in our hearts. So instead of running from Him when there are bumps in the road, we need to run to Him.
These truths are something that God is constantly driving home, and you will find a new freedom once they start to become a reality in your life. As you yield to God, your problems and circumstances won’t have so much control in your life. Instead, you will find yourself controlled by the Holy Spirit within you. As you trust in God more and more, you will find yourself concentrating more on praise and worship than you do on your own feelings.
This shift in focus will help you see your problems in a new light. Instead of seeing God as a Gestapo officer who wants to punish those who get out of line, He will become a loving friend who wants to draw closer to you every day. If you do this, I can tell you from experience that the prison which has held you captive will begin to open, and you can transfer the load you are carrying onto His shoulders.
If you would like some help as you lighten your own load and place it in God’s arms, please call 507-369-6861.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.