When I was in high school, my physics teacher gave us an assignment where each of us had to build a bridge out of popsicle sticks and glue. There were some other specifications it had to meet as well. Then, on the date the assignment was due, he put the bridges to a battery of tests to see how well they held up. One test was a weight test. He kept adding weights to the bridge until it broke. Only one bridge in the class survived this test. The rest all cracked at some point under the weights. On that particular one, the teacher ran out of weights to put on it and it was still standing strong.
The book of Nahum in the Bible is a book of prophesy that spoke of a time of calamity and hard times that were coming. Unlike some other books of prophesy, this one was designed to administer peace in those times. Even the name of the prophet God chose to write the book Nahum has significance to the prophesy. It means comfort. I believe God was telling the readers of this book that no matter how bad things get, He is there to comfort us and give us peace.
Nahum 1:7 says, “The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him” (NLT). I love that first phrase. It’s not a promise, it’s a fact. The Lord is good. He’s also strong. Each of us have a breaking point under the weight of stress, but God doesn’t. He is a strong refuge when we are weighed down. We must learn to trust Him with our burdens and the weights that we carry. Even though at times it feels like we’re alone, He is close to us ready to comfort us in our time of need and able to handle the weight that would crush us.
Photo by James Peacock on Unsplash
Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.
When I go grocery shopping, it’s usually for just a few things so I like to use the hand held baskets. My six year old son likes to accompany me on these trips. He always asks, “Can I carry the basket?” The basket is fine for him to carry until I begin to put things in it. Every item we pick up weighs the basket more. When I see him struggling with the weight of it, I ask for it. He often refuses. He struggles to carry it, but still he insists. Sometimes he ends up pushing it along the floor because he doesn’t want to give it up.
Even though life would be easier for both of us if he let me carry it, he keeps going until he’s wore out. I wonder if that’s how it is between us and God when we carry around burdens. God is asking us to release them to Him, but we keep insisting we can do it. We struggle with the weight of it, but still we push on. God asks us to hand it to Him, but we’d rather struggle pushing it than to hand it off. Life would be easier for both of us if we’d just give it up.
In Psalm 55:22, David wrote, “Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you” (AMPC). Every burden, that’s not from God, that we pick up weighs us down. We know from Matthew 11:30 that the Lord’s burden is light. The burdens He places on our hearts won’t be too heavy for us. He’s even willing to make an exchange with us. He’ll give us His burdens if we will give ours to Him, but that takes us releasing them.
I like the second part of that verse. The word “sustain” means to hold up much like a gable holds up a roof. When we give up our burdens to Him, He holds us up so we don’t cave in. The things we think are keeping us going are the things that are weighing us down. It’s time we heard the Father’s voice and obeyed. Were not strong enough to carry the basket of burdens. Release it to Him and walk in the freedom He offers. He has His hand out waiting for you to hand it to Him.