Lightening The Load
I believe that many of us need to learn to travel light in life. We can tend to carry too much baggage with us that weights us down, slows us up and wears us out. Are you familiar with the old suitcase of guilt, the duffel bag of discontentment, the backpack of loneliness and the footlocker of fear? We can be lugging this stuff around day in and day out. Some of it we don't even set down when we go to bed at night. It crowds us out of our much needed sleep. Lugging stuff around that we don't need to be carrying is exhausting and it's not what God desires for us to do. We can be lugging burdens we don't need to bear and ones we were never meant to carry.
We need to lighten the load we are bearing. How can we help others, if we are carrying too much ourselves? How can we share grace if we are weighted down with guilt? How can we comfort others if we are overloaded with heartache? How can we help lift someone else's load if we are totally struggling under our own? Psalm 23 begins with, "The Lord is my Shepherd." Why did God have David write this beautiful psalm? Perhaps it was to help build up our trust in God and remind us of who God is and who He is not. When David wrote, "The Lord is my Shepherd," he used the Hebrew word, Yahweh. "Yahweh is my Shepherd." He used Yahweh because it is God's name, and God's name is who God is. "He is," and He is the One who causes things to happen. And though He creates, Yahweh was never created. And though He changes things, He is unchanging. and though God controls, He is controlled by no one. We need a Shepherd who is the Creator, who never changes and who is in control. We need a Shepherd who we can count on and who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Relationships change. Our health changes. The weather changes, but not Yahweh our shepherd, who was in control when He created the universe and who is in charge today. We can always count on God to be God.
We need a Yahweh who can still the storms of our lives, who has defeated the grave and who knows the meaning of life because He is Life. We need a God, who, while being so incredibly powerful, can touch our lives with tenderness. We need a Yahweh, who is more than able to lighten our loads and lift the weight of the burdensome baggage that we are lugging around and don't need to be. According to David and Psalm 23, we have a Yahweh who can do just that and so much more. What we need to do is let Him lighten our loads by receiving His forgiveness, living in His presence and trusting Him with all the details of our lives.
David took great joy and comfort in declaring, "The Lord is my Shepherd," because he knew what a good shepherd did for his sheep. Thus he gladly implied that he was one of Yahweh's sheep. May we stop lugging around the stuff we were not meant to bear. May we admit that we need the Good Shepherd to depend upon, to direct us, to defend us and to deliver us. I know I do. God only has our best in mind, so we ant rut Him to carry the load. The Lord is my Shepherd. The Lord is your Shepherd.