by J.R. Miller
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
It is because we do not know everything about him, that we think our neighbor’s load lighter and more easily borne, than our own.
There is another Bible word which tells us that we should “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2). So there are burdens which others can help us carry. No one can do our duty for us, or take our load of suffering—but human friendship can put strength into our heart to make us better able to do or to endure. It is a great thing to have brotherly help in life. We all need each other. Not one of us could carry on without others to share his burdens. And we begin to be like Christ—only when we begin to help others, to be of use to them, to make life a little easier for them, to give them some of our strength in their weakness, some of our joy in their sorrow. When we have learned this lesson—we have begun to live worthily.
There is another inspired word which tells us to “cast your burden upon the Lord—and He will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). The word “burden” in this passage, in the margin of the King James Version, is rendered “gift”. “Cast your gift upon the Lord.” In the Revised Version, the marginal reading is, “Cast what He has given you upon the Lord.” This is very suggestive. Our burden is that which God has given to us. It may be duty; it may be struggle and conflict; it may be sorrow; it may be our environment. But whatever it is—it is that which He has given us, and we may cast it upon the Lord.
The form of the promise is also suggestive. We are not told that the Lord will carry our burden for us, or that He will remove it from us. Many people infer that this is the meaning—but it is not. Since it is that which God has given to us—it is in some way needful for us. It is something under which we will best grow into spiritual strength and beauty. Our burden has a blessing in it for us. This is true of duty, of trials and temptations, of the things which to us seem hindrances, of our disappointments and sorrows; these are all ordained by God as the best means for the development of our lives. Hence it would not be a true kindness to us—for God to take away our burden, even at our most earnest pleading, It is part of our maturing. There is a blessing in the bearing of it.
The promise is, therefore, not that the Lord will remove the load we cast upon Him, nor that He will carry it for us—but that He will sustain us so that we may carry it. He does not free us from duty—but He strengthens us for it. He does not deliver us from conflict—but He enables us to overcome. He does not withhold or withdraw trial from us—but He helps us in trial to be submissive and victorious, and makes it a blessing to us. He does not mitigate the hardness or severity of our circumstances, taking away the uncongenial elements, removing the thorns, making life easy for us—but He puts into our hearts divine grace, so that we can live serenely in all the hard, adverse circumstances.
This is the law of all spiritual life—not the lifting away of the burden—but the giving of help to enable us to carry it with joy.
by J.R. Miller