Most of us are always carrying something–a backpack, a huge purse, armloads of laundry, the order for table #12, a jumble of items from Target because you didn’t want to grab a cart…
…these days I am also carrying Jack.
Who is getting heavy.
So heavy that I strained a muscle in my left shoulder (in his defense, this is also the shoulder I injured years ago in a biking accident).
As I was applying heat to my aching muscle one night after Jack was asleep, this passage came to mind:
New International Version (NIV/MSG)
1-2 The god Bel falls down, god Nebo slumps. The no-god hunks of wood are loaded on mules and have to be hauled off, wearing out the poor mules—Dead weight, burdens who can’t bear burdens, hauled off to captivity. (MSG) 3 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. 4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (NIV) 5-7 “So to whom will you compare me, the Incomparable? Can you picture me without reducing me? People with a lot of money hire craftsmen to make them gods. The artisan delivers the god, and they kneel and worship it! They carry it around in holy parades, then take it home and put it on a shelf. And there it sits, day in and day out, a dependable god, always right where you put it. Say anything you want to it, it never talks back. Of course, it never does anything either! (MSG) 8 “Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. 9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.
What a word picture.
The One true God carries us. Any other “god” in our lives, anything else we are looking to for fulfillment, we have to carry.
So the question is: Carry, or be carried?
Logically, I choose be carried–all day, every day. Practically, I have to admit that I often squirm off God’s shoulders and try to give it a go on my own…and I end up weighed down by things I pick up along the way. I pick up pride, selfishness, control, material comforts. I arrogantly rely on my own intelligence, strength and talents. I foolishly lose sight of these truths: Nothing else is worth worshipping. Nothing else is God. Everything else is just heavy stuff that quickly becomes a burden. Nothing else loves me. Nothing else forgives me. Nothing else satisfies my soul.
So today, I stop and look up. I stop and reach up. I let go of all that I am carrying, and ask God to carry me. I choose to not rush ahead. I choose to let Him set the pace.
“The Eternal’s beloved rests safely next to Him, protected all through the day, resting between His shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12 (The Voice)