Casting Our Burdens
Forgive me for being so silent. We are in the midst of lots of transition due to pregnancy and moving and I find that oftentimes when there is so much activity swirling around me, it is difficult for me to put words to my thoughts. I am happy to report that today we closed on our new house and we are excited to get settled into it before too long. I hope that becoming more settled livens up my creative and introspective juices to write again. I have missed it!
For now for my Wednesday [Thursday] Wisdom Well, I want to repost a blog entry by Beth Moore found on her blog. I admire her greatly and especially the genuine way she lives her life and faith. I appreciated the excerpt she shared from her morning’s devotional and gained great insight from the way she explained Psalm 55:22. I hope you do too!
“From Morning and Evening [by Charles Spurgeon, May 26th entry]
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.”
— Psalm 55:22
Care, even though exercised upon legitimate objects, if carried to excess, has in it the nature of sin. The precept to avoid anxious care is earnestly inculcated by our Saviour, again and again; it is reiterated by the apostles; and it is one which cannot be neglected without involving transgression: for the very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting ourselves into his place to do for him that which he has undertaken to do for us.We attempt to think of that which we fancy he will forget; we labour to take upon ourselves our weary burden, as if he were unable or unwilling to take it for us. Now this disobedience to his plain precept, this unbelief in his Word, this presumption in intruding upon his province, is all sinful. Yet more than this, anxious care often leads to acts of sin. He who cannot calmly leave his affairs in God’s hand, but will carry his own burden, is very likely to be tempted to use wrong means to help himself. This sin leads to a forsaking of God as our counsellor, and resorting instead to human wisdom. This is going to the “broken cistern” instead of to the “fountain;” a sin which was laid against Israel of old. Anxiety makes us doubt God’s lovingkindness, and thus our love to him grows cold; we feel mistrust, and thus grieve the Spirit of God, so that our prayers become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one of self-seeking. Thus want of confidence in God leads us to wander far from him; but if through simple faith in his promise, we cast each burden as it comes upon him, and are “careful for nothing” because he undertakes to care for us, it will keep us close to him, and strengthen us against much temptation. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.”
(Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening : Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.)
…This morning I opened up The NET Bible and read a large portion of Psalm 55. When I got to verse 22 – the verse captioned in the Spurgeon devotional - I sat tight on the NET translation:
“Throw your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you. He will never allow the godly to be upended.”
Maybe you’re visual, too, and right about now you’re picturing throwing. Like hauling off and throwing something as hard as you can. And maybe getting a little frustration and madness out of your soul while you’re at it. Maybe crying while you’re doing it. Even out loud.
Before you’re tempted to hold it to your chest and suffocate yourself nearly to death with it.
Then something else spoke to me. It was one of those 60, 932 scholars’ notes. The comment footnotes the word “you” at the end of the phrase “Throw your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you.” I’ll just cut and paste the note from my Bible software so you can see it for yourself.
“The pronoun is singular; the psalmist addresses each member of his audience individually.”
(Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Ps 55:22). Biblical Studies Press.)
Individually. We EACH have the invitation to throw our burdens upon the Lord and let Him sustain us. Not the “we” of us. The “you” and “me” of us. We also each have the responsibility. In other words, no one can throw our burden on the Lord for us. We can’t call in a relief pitcher. Don’t misunderstand. We can certainly call upon people to pray for us and with us and the New Testament adamantly tells us to carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) but listen. There is a difference between a burden that is entrusted for us in a season that we are to partner in sharing and carrying. Say, for instance, a long term illness or thorn in the flesh. But the part of the burden that we are inadvertently – even accidentally – playing God over needs to be THROWN, Girlfriend. The part we’re suffocating under because we’re no longer walking, we’re laying down with it on top of us, needs to be…
When we keep trying to figure out what would fix it, then we try that, and it doesn’t work so we wring our hands and go to the next fix, we need to throw it. We cannot be Savior. We know that because, Lord help us, we cannot even save ourselves.”