The Burden

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"Why was my burden so heavy?" I slammed the bedroom door and leaned

against it. Is there no rest from this life? I wondered. I stumbled to

my bed and dropped onto it, pressing my pillow around my ears to shut

out the noise of my existence. "Oh God," I cried, "let me sleep. Let me

sleep forever and never wake up!" With a deep sob I tried to will myself

into oblivion, then welcomed the blackness that came over me.

Light surrounded me as I regained consciousness. I focused on its

source: the figure of a man standing before a cross. "My child," the

person asked, "why did you want to come to Me before I am ready to call


"Lord, I'm sorry. It's just that... I can't go on. You see how hard it

is for me. Look at this awful burden on my back. I simply can't carry it


"But haven't I told you to cast all of your burdens upon Me, because I

care for you? My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."

"I knew You would say that. But why does mine have to be so heavy?" "My

child, everyone in the world has a burden. Perhaps you would like to try

a different one?"

"I can do that?" (Matthew 11:28)

He pointed to several burdens lying at His feet. "You may try any of

these." All of them seemed to be of equal size. But each was labeled

with a name. "There's Joan's," I said. Joan was married to a wealthy

businessman. She lived in a sprawling estate and dressed her three

daughters in the prettiest designer clothes. Sometimes she drove me to

church in her Cadillac when my car was broken.

"Let me try that one." How difficult could her burden be? I thought. The

Lord removed my burden and placed Joan's on my shoulders. I sank to my

knees beneath its weight. "Take it off!" I said.

"What makes it so heavy?"

"Look inside." I untied the straps and opened the top. Inside was a

figure of her Mother-in -law, and when I lifted it out, it began to

speak. "Joan, you'll never be good enough for my son," it began. "He

never should have married you. You're a terrible mother to my


I quickly placed the figure back in the pack and withdrew another. It

was Donna, Joan's youngest daughter. Her head was bandaged from the

surgery that had failed to resolve her epilepsy. A third figure was

Joan's brother. Addicted to drugs, he had been convicted of killing a

police officer. "I see why her burden is so heavy, Lord. But she's

always smiling and helping others.

I didn't realize..."

"Would you like to try another?" He asked quietly. I tested several.

Paula's felt heavy: She was raising four small boys without a father.

Debra's did too: a childhood of sexual abuse and a marriage of emotional

abuse. When I came to Ruth's burden, I didn't even try. I knew that

inside I would find arthritis, old age, a demanding full-time job, and a

beloved husband in a nursing home.

"They're all too heavy, Lord" I said. "Give back my own." As I lifted

the familiar load once again, It seemed much lighter than the others.

"Lets look inside" He said. I turned away, holding it close.

"That's not a good idea," I said.

"Why?" "There's a lot of junk in there."

"Let Me see." The gentle thunder of His voice compelled me. I opened my

burden. He pulled out a brick. "Tell me about this one."

"Lord, You know. It's money. I know we don't suffer like people in some

countries or even the homeless here in America. But we have no

insurance, and when the kids get sick, we can't always take them to the

doctor. They've never been to a dentist. And I'm tired of dressing them

in hand-me-downs."

"My child, I will supply all of your needs... and your children's. I've

given them healthy bodies. I will teach them that expensive clothing

doesn't make a person valuable in My sight." Then He lifted out the

figure of a small boy. "And this?" He asked.

"Andrew..." I hung my head, ashamed to call my son a burden. "But, Lord,

he's hyperactive. He's not quiet like the other two. He makes me so

tired. He's always getting hurt, and someone is bound to think I abuse

him. I yell at him all the time. Someday I may really hurt him...."

"My child," He said, "if you trust Me, I will renew your strength, If

you allow Me to fill you with My Spirit, I will give you patience." Then

He took some pebbles from my burden. "Yes, Lord," I said with a sigh.

"Those are small. But they're important. I hate my hair. It's thin, and

I can't make it look nice. I can't afford to go to the beauty shop. I'm

overweight and can't stay on a diet. I hate all my clothes. I hate the

way I look!"

"My child, people look at your outward appearance, but I look at

your heart. By My Spirit you can gain self-control to lose weight. But

your beauty should not come from outward appearance. Instead, it should

come from your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet

spirit, which is of great worth in My sight."

My burden now seemed lighter than before. "I guess I can handle it now"

I said. "There is more," He said. "Hand Me that last brick."

"Oh, You don't have to take that. I can handle it." "My child, give it

to Me." Again His voice compelled me. He reached out His hand, and for

the first time I saw the ugly wound.

"But, Lord, this brick is so awful, so nasty, Lord! What happened to

Your hands? They're so scarred!" No longer focused on my burden, I

looked for the first time into His face. In His brow were ragged

scars-as though someone had pressed thorns into His flesh. "Lord," I

whispered. "What happened to You?"

His loving eyes reached into my soul. "My child, you know. Hand Me the

brick. It belongs to Me. I bought it."


"With My blood."

"But why, Lord?"

"Because I have loved you with an everlasting love. Give it to Me."

I placed the filthy brick into His wounded palm. It contained all the

dirt and evil of my life: my pride, my selfishness, the depression that

constantly tormented me. He turned to the cross and hurled my brick into

the pool of blood at its base. It hardly made a ripple.

"Now, My child, you need to go back. I will be with you always. When you

are troubled, call to Me and I will help you and show you things you

cannot imagine now." "Yes, Lord, I will call on You." I reached to pick

up my burden. "You may leave that here if you wish. You see all these

burdens? They are the ones that others have left at My feet. Joan's,

Paula's, Debra's, Ruth's.....When you leave your burden here, I carry it

with you. Remember, My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

As I placed my burden with Him, the light began to fade." (Jeremiah


Yet I heard Him whisper, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you."

A peace flooded my soul. Amen. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Author Unknown