Berean Blog

Random thoughts from a Doulos Theos (servant of God)

Location: Rocky Point, North Carolina, United States

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Yeshua said:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in
heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my
burden is light.
(Matthew 11:28-30)

So much has happened in the month since I last posted that I have material in abundance, but I wanted to break the silence with some brief thoughts. I have felt twinges of guilt for not remaining regular, but more so of late. This little page has received visits from all over the world as a result of searches on some serious queries. I’m choosing to take that as my own small contribution to Biblical studies, and continue as I can!

The passage above has become more real to me in the past few months. It brought me back in my mind to my time in Okinawa about twenty years ago.

I was out on a run, and decided to leave the base and explore the back roads of Gushikawa, a charming little town directly outside Camp Courtney where I was stationed. It was a lovely day, not too humid or sunny, so I was in great spirits as I passed a field where some local men were harvesting sugar cane.

I have to pause to describe the scene. The road was narrow and unpaved, sharply elevated about six feet from the field alongside which it traversed. Parked on the road was a flatbed truck upon which they placed the cane they were cutting and bundling. They were wizened old fellows who looked to have an average age of 60-70, and were about half my size. They were lugging bundles that looked to be roughly their size and weight.

My desire to be a good ambassador overrode my critical thinking as I decided that I could add to my workout by helping them carry these bundles to the truck while simultaneously proving that I was not an “ugly American”. With visions of Rocky IV in my mind (which had just been released a few years prior), I communicated to these bemused farmers my intentions through broken Japanese and gestures.

In immediate retrospect, I realized the reason behind their good-humored reluctance to allow me to “help” them. I failed to understand that these men had been doing this for decades and their bodies had been toughened to the strain, something that was not apparent to my young and naïve eyes – until I attempted to copy their practiced routines. In short, those bundles were HEAVY! In fact, they were a little heavier than I was prepared to carry, but I put on a brave face as I literally staggered under the weight to the edge of the road.

If you recall, the road was on a sharp incline above the field, and that area became the place where a brave face no longer mattered. I could NOT manage that sugar cane up to the road, and the farmers all had a good collective hearty laugh at this American’s expense as they not only had to help me out of the field, but had to do so without the bundle on my back. I think I managed my embarrassment only marginally, as I bowed and continued my run straight back to the barracks, where I collapsed in exhaustion.

Draw this into the spiritual realm, as we so often struggle with loads that are beyond our capacity. Good-naturedly, our Father tries to deny us the effort, but we brusquely insist upon our pride, whereupon He meekly steps aside and patiently waits for the moment He knows is coming, where we have to turn to Him and admit what He already knew -- that we are too weak.

Beloved, Christ knows better than we do what we are capable of carrying. He has been trapped in frail human flesh and can empathize with every fear, every joy, in fact every circumstance. If we sometimes wonder why we face struggles, it may be that He is either proving to us what we can bear, OR He is waiting for us to put it down so He can carry it.

If we are truly in Christ, we may be lonely, but never alone. We may be burdened, but need never be overcome. If you are facing trials, ask Him if you were meant to do so. If not, take His yoke upon you, and learn the sweetness of laboring in His strength instead of your own. His strength is made perfect in your weakness (II Cor. 12:9), and you can do all things through His strength (Phil. 4:13), then thank Him for counting you faithful (I Tim. 1:12)!


Anonymous Michael said...

Great analogy and story Papa.
Love you.

6:54 PM  

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