April 13th, 2004


The blessing of burdens

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.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (13 April, "What To Do When Your Burden Is Overwhelming")

To have God share my burden is a far sweeter thing than to have Him relieve me of it. The work is His, but fellowship with Him and training to bear the likeness of Christ is mine. Lord, never take those gifts from me.

(This reminded me of thinking about burdens a few years ago.)

A bit refreshed over yesterday. I do hate when I get "stuck" like that—hate the surface irritability and anger, hate the raging insecurity underneath. That's not who I am, and it's a waste of life for me to live that way.

CG tonight, our first at the Meridan house in Wallingford. Though it fills the day a bit more, having someone else host is a blessing. My routine will probably be to leave the office a couple of hours early and travel to Wallingford to study and be still awhile before group. Meeting at my place made that challenging. Additionally, Jeremy loves hosting (I think Natrix does too), so this gives him a chance to exercise that gift and a greater likelihood of joining us.
  • Current Mood
    refreshed refreshed

Today's visit

Jesus stopped by the office today.

Actually, He stopped by on Sunday. We talked for a while and I gave Him our card, asking Him to stop by on Monday if He still needed money to get back home to Port Angeles. He said He was in Seattle visiting His mother, who is in failing health with Alzheimer's Disease and doesn't remember Him anymore. He was unshaven with sores on his face and the smell of a man who hasn't washed in days.

I'm not sure whether the facts back His story or not, but the truth isn't just about facts. The loneliness, sadness, desperation and poverty are true either way—if His mother is indeed sick, it is the uniquely deep pain of a forgotten son unable to see the mother He recognizes; if she is not, His life is so full of pain that living into that story, even to gain sympathy and money, is preferable to the facts. No matter what the case, He was giving me the chance to show Him compassion. He loved me first, while I was thoroughly unlovable. And He loves me enough to let me echo that back.

He came by today, a day later than we talked about. He's like that. Honestly, I hadn't expected to see Him again at all, but I hadn't meant to brush Him off Sunday. So I'm glad He persevered—He taught me something with that.

He was at the door just as I was reaching for it to leave for the day. Earlier, I'd hoped to get some time before Community Group to collect my thoughts, rest, and pray. But once I realized it was Him, and that He had stuck with it through so much to be with me, I let my plans go and sat with Him a while. He had three cups of coffee, a few glasses of water, and filled His water bottle. We talked about His mother, His father (deceased), His girlfriend (deceased), His struggles with glaucoma, sightseeing on the peninsula, and where He had seen God at work in His life. I gave what I could and explained what we might do to help further if circumstances changed and He remained in Seattle.

Mostly, I wanted Him to know I saw Him, I heard Him, I wanted to be present with Him and appreciate His presence with me. He followed hard after me, the way I should pursue Him. He wasn't afraid to be desperate with me, the way I should be with Him. He invaded my life. He was inconvenient. And I'm glad He was.
  • Current Mood
    grateful grateful