Tue, May 16, 2017
What to Do with Burdens
"If a burden is laid on my back and another immediately takes it off and carries it himself," said Meister Eckhart, "it can make no difference to me whether it is one or a hundred pounds."
In the Scriptures, there would seem to be three kinds of burdens recognized. First, the burden of loving help which we are admonished to give to others: "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). Secondly, the burden of moral responsibility which no one can shift to another: "For each one should carry his own load" (Galatians 6:5). Thirdly, the burden resulting from our fallen state, consisting of sin, fear, worry, disappointments, sorrows, remorse, bitter memories and self-accusations.
The first burden never harmed a soul. The second may even be a source of quiet comfort if our hearts are right. It is the third sort that ages and shrivels and kills. And there is no valid reason for our carrying it (or them, for there are many of this kind). "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you" (Psalm 55:22). That was what the good Eckhart had in mind when he suggested that no burden would be heavier than any other if the Lord carried it for us.
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
Casting our cares upon the Lord means casting and leaving them there. Our common practice is to pick them up again after our prayer's "amen."
Forgive me, Lord, for carrying burdens I should be unloading on You. You have invited me to leave them with You.