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Lighten the Load
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The first time a person backpacks they take just about everything they can. They know they’re going on a trip and want to take every item they think they’ll need. Once you put the backpack on, it’s comfortable, and as the miles increase that pack becomes heavier.

I remember the first time I went backpacking. It was late autumn in upstate New York; cold enough that we wore winter coats and hats. The lake campsite was a three mile hike in. I put more clothes than I’d ever need for a weekend trip in my backpack, along with bath towels I never used because there were no showers. I also packed several empty water bottles I filled with milk and froze overnight. My goal was to outdo everyone and drink real milk while the rest relied on powered milk. I packed several cans of soup, hotdogs, boiled eggs, extra shoes, gloves, scarf, and other miscellaneous items. Lastly, I rolled my pillow and a sheet up inside my sleeping bag then tied it to the bottom of the pack.

The first twenty minutes I handled without complaint, but as the terrain changed and the miles increased, that pack became heavier, and heavier. My coat quickly came off and by the end of the three miles I was tired, wet, and sore.

Life is somewhat like a long backpacking trip. We’re burdened not only by our own complexities of life but also that of our spouses, children, siblings and parents. Unlike backpacking, as we travel along in years, we add more burdens and loads to our life. This can shorten our lives or we can  end up with poor health if we don’t off-load some of those burdens.

Something Different

Although Christians don’t lead lives without heartache and burdens, there is something different. They learn to surrender their heavy burdens to Christ. When that happens, Jesus carries their load and eases their burdens (Psalms 148:6).

Jesus tells everyone who will listen and accept Him to, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

An old hymn, Jesus Took My Burden, says it best,

“When I was crushed with sorrow I bowed in deep despair,
My load of grief and heart-ache seemed more than I could bear;
‘Twas then I heard a whisper, ‘You to the Lord belong,’
Then Jesus took my burden, and left me with a song.

Yes, Jesus took my burden I could no longer bear.
Yes, Jesus took my burden in answer to my prayer.
My anxious fears subsided; my spirit was made strong,
For Jesus took my burden and left me with a song.”

(Words by Johnson Oatman, Jr., Music by Bertha M. Lillenas, ©1933).

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By Daniel LaFlair. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARAD BIBLE ®

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