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Shifting the Weight - A Devotion

Shifting the Weight
Shifting the Weight
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Psalm 37:5-6 (AMP)
Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass. And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, but the way you carry it!” (Lena Horne) As I left the hospital last night, I felt like I was dragging a truckload of bricks with me to the car. It is a long walk with renovation that now requires an extremely long trek back and forth to the garage. Admittedly, I haul quite a bit of junk with me along the way with an oversized purse that contains most of my life and overstuffed duffel bag with my office and the rest of my life. I have learned that the days drag on without sufficient distractions as he goes through treatment and recovery. It is the last week of school so before coming today I watched out baby girl graduate from elementary school. It feels as though I have pretty much missed it with this one as I could not really commit to volunteering and field trips in the chaos of the last three years of our life. Overwhelming quilt plagues me. My middle school daughter graduates tomorrow ready for her final years in high school. I dropped her off when this began and now I am here still as she exits. My oldest daughter has graduated technical school and will be married in just over four short months. So add wedding planning and execution to the overstuffed duffel bag mentioned before. She deserves all the celebration and attention of a blushing bride. Maybe the load that I am feeling is not really from lugging my life around the hospital, perhaps it is my heart that is looking for relief. The Lord promises not to give us more than we can bear.

I Corinthians 10:13 (AMP)
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and [adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.

I had to look the verse up again and “Amplify” it so that I could hear it, break it down, digest it and allow it to sustain me today. God is faithful. He will not let me be tempted, tried, assayed (examined, analyzed, tried or tested) beyond your ability and strength. He knows the potential power within you to endure so He stretches you just a little bit more. But with every situation, He will ALWAYS also provide a way out or means of escape. God is not trying to make me give up, give in or surrender but to realize the true potential of my life. This requires shifting the substance of my life from my own ability to my God-Given potential which is already written on every stand of my DNA and provided for in every single step that I take – even the long ones, stumbling ones, wandering ones and running ones that lead me back to the Lord. The world has hammered in my head that I must be the strong one who is totally capable and competent. The Lord says differently. I must commit my way to the Lord. When it comes to this journey, we are past modern manmade measures. We are swimming in the realm called hope carried only by our faith in God. We have no other guarantee to rely on. But look what the turned-up explanation of Psalm 37:5 says, “Roll and repose each care of your load on Him.” If we learn to do this successfully with every single aspect of our life, I believe this is the truest definition of freedom in Jesus Christ. The next thing it tells us to do is to trust Him. I want to trust the Lord. I do in many ways but it is clearly evident that I do believe God is healing our son completely of this obnoxious, stupid disease called cancer that I am having trouble trusting to care for the rest of my family during this difficult to do. Why? Why force myself to remain committed to God in the midst of this trying time rather than reacting to our present circumstances and demanding a way out? Why trust anyone at this point when everything has failed so far? The answer is at the end of Psalm 37:5 where it says, “He will bring it to pass.” The challenge of my heart in everything is to trust the Lord. Commitment is the demonstration of trust. When I truly release my weights, burdens, heaviness, stress and worry to the Lord, He exchanges it for peace and joy in the midst of the very same situation which I came to Him in. I have come to the conclusion that this current journey that we are on will strip me of all power in my life. It has taken me to the core of what I believe and will require every single ounce of faith that I have along with all of my endurance and patience in the mix. Why God? Why would you bend me like this but not let me break? Why would you give so much when you see me buckling under the pressure? He wants me to trust Him more so that He can bring His Promises to pass in my life.

Matthew 11:27-30 (AMP)
All things have been entrusted and delivered to Me by My Father; and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Son except the Father, and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son deliberately wills to make Him known. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

It is important that our faith be developed into confident hope. Faith that is left undeveloped and not allowed to mature will never trust the Lord but continue to try to remain responsible for our own life. We have faith in us to give back to Jesus Christ. Trouble is most of the time have only faith in ourselves. We must learn to shift the burden for our life including the responsibility in our life to Jesus Christ. Trust confers responsibility as we give it into His Safe and Capable Hands. How do I know that Jesus is able? “All things have been entrusted an delivered to Me (Jesus) by My Father (God). When Jesus Christ overcame the world it included everything in it even cancer. Before I came to Jesus Christ and asked Him to be my Savior and Lord, I had assumed full responsibility for my life with a sin-imposed death penalty that would have to be paid when I died. But when I came to Christ, I handed Him my life and everything in it so that by His Power and Authority I could be pardoned and set free from the death penalty. But if I choose to withhold any part of my existence from His Power and Authority than I assume responsibility for that part. But if the Holy Spirit is working on parts of my life and producing God’s Goodness there, the rest of me buckles on such force. When renovating an old house, as construction begins many times they will find problems here or there that must be addressed. Load-bearing walls must be preserved or the entire structure will fall down. As the Holy Spirit works inside of us to produce the results (promises, blessings, healing and prosperity) of our salvation, we feel the stress and pressure. In that moment, we are encouraged by Jesus to come closer to Him. He will give us rest as He shifts the weight and burden of our life. He gives us a yoke that is bearable when we secure our life in His Presence and remain there. If the pressure and stress of your life is too much today, then it is time to roll and repose or shift some weight around. When people become obese they experience problems in their body as it begins to break down under the pressure, each one has the choice to either change their lifestyle to including diet and exercise to make better choices, or succumb to the pressure as their body shuts down from overload. This is what the Lord is showing me today. Even though I love Him, trust Him and remain committed to finding His Way in all things, there are days when I must evaluate the burdens that I am carrying to be sure that I am not carrying His Load, too!

Romans 8:28-29 (AMP)
We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.

When my children were little, I introduced them to Play-Doh. The moment that they discovered it would squish through their fingers they were fascinated. However, fascination turned to frustration when they could not do anything with it. My first inclination was to try to work with the dough in their hands to show them how to mold and shape it into something useful. Well, too many hands not enough substance only caused more of a fight. So I would take a lump in my hands, get their attention and then show them how to do basic things like roll it into a long piece that looked like a snake. They did it all by themselves by watching me do it first. Sometimes I think that this is how God has to work with us. If He tried to take our “dough” or “burden” from us – we would fight for it. If He tried to force our hands, we would become frustrated and rebel. So instead He waits for us to come to Him so that He can show us how to trust Him more and follow the example of His Son, Jesus Christ to become an imitator of God. God is working every single detail of our life for good including cancer treatment, side effects, lost time with family and interruption of life as we know it. I just need to trust Him more. If people were given to just dumping all their cares and worries in God’s Lap, we would not need nearly as much grace as we do or mercy to boot. But because it is human nature to do it for ourselves, it takes time for the Lord to convince us to give Him ever worry, burden and care so that He can make “good” on every promise that He has given us. Refusal to release our stresses to God is a form of rebellion as we choose ourselves to better care for us. Think about it. We imply in that moment that we are stronger and smarter than the God we serve because we refuse to trust Him by committing every burden and care to Him. We limit God’s Power in our life by doubt and disbelief that can only be loosed when we trust Him more.

I John 5:1-4 (AMP)
Everyone who believes (adheres to, trusts, and relies on the fact) that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) is a born-again child of God; and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him (His offspring). By this we come to know (recognize and understand) that we love the children of God: when we love God and obey His commands (orders, charges)—[when we keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and His teaching]. For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith.

I know many people who are carrying heavy loads today who like me will benefit from what the Lord is whispering to us in His Word today. Pride will never encourage us to release our burdens to Jesus Christ or become more committed by trust. It is not human nature but a violation of our own will. If you are tired, weary, overladen, overburdened, feeling the pressure, stressing out, buckling under the load of your whole life crashing down on your shoulders, trying to hold it all together – His Invitation today is for you (and me). Come to me and “I will cause you to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.” Sometimes it is not the outward burden that we think is crushing us but rather a cry from our heart for more of Jesus. His Spirit lives inside of us. We are now overcomers whether we think so or not. His Word is working in our life. When the pressure is too much, we call out His Name. Why wait? We can meet Him each morning for new mercy and in exchange give Him the burdens, worries and cares of each day. He will gladly take them. The Lord has big plans for you. Just shift the weight of your life squarely on His Shoulders, Jesus wants to carry your load. In exchange, His Spirit will give you peace, joy, rest and even calmness in the fiercest storm. Thank you Lord today for reminding me that the burden of my life belongs to You (not me anymore). Teach me to trust You more and rely on me less! You have proven that you are more than able and completely capable of expressing all of your Goodness and Glory in my life so I will give this back to you!

Isaiah 30:18 (AMP)
And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!