“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour,
who daily bears our burdens.”
Psalms 68:19 NIVUK
How can it be that every day, God will bear our burden? That’s what David wrote in this verse in Psalm 68. But what is a burden? The dictionary refers to a heavy load – imagine a rucksack filled with all that is needed for a camping trip and food for a week. And we have to carry it for miles across the Scottish moors. Another definition is perhaps something repetitively unpleasant, that needs to be dealt with every day.
But what is the Psalmist referring to? I think his mind is dwelling on the difficulties of living in an environment where things are hard. An environment where every day issues and problems weigh us down but have to be faced and they never seem to go away. The burden of caring for a loved one, who is suffering from an illness that never seems to get better. The burden carried by a parent trying to look after a child with acute learning difficulties. The burden of dealing with an illness such as arthritis, so severe that just getting up in the morning is almost too much to achieve. Even the burdens associated with our senior years, where, physically, we now cannot do the things we used to find so easy. The burdens that the Lord will carry are those that we are struggling to carry ourselves. And we cry out to Him for relief, in faith receiving the help we need. We cry out to Him daily, perhaps many times each day, because He is always there for us. And many testify to God’s burden-carrying help.
God uses His people to become “burden bearers”. It says in Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.” So today, daily, we must look around us to see who is having difficulty carrying their burdens. Paul in his letter to the Galatians wasn’t supplying an invitation. It was a command to do something in accordance with God’s law. It may be something as simple as putting out somebody’s refuse bins. Or running an errand. Or helping with transport to a hospital appointment. Something practical and simple that costs us little but helps the person in need through a crisis that otherwise would have been almost too much for them to bear. It could also be to invite someone in for a cup of coffee and a chat, because loneliness can be a terrible burden. Yes, it may cost us something in terms of our time and money, but who knows, one day we too might have an intolerable burden we struggle to carry. We must pray for God to reveal to us what burdens He wants us to carry on behalf of others – we will probably be very surprised at what He says!
So we can look up to our wonderful Saviour God, praising Him for His intimate interest in our everyday lives. I’m looking out of my office window as I type. All quiet at the moment. No obvious burdens or people in need. But wait a minute – the lady next door might need a lift to the shops. Perhaps I need to knock her door and ask her. And what did God say to me in my prayer walk this morning?