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It's Time to Lay Down My Burden

I've Got a Heavy BurdenI’ve been carrying a burden, a deep burden my whole life. It’s heavy, this burden, but it’s always been there, like a really heavy second skin, so after a while I guess I didn’t notice it any more. In fact, I can’t remember when I stopped remembering it was there. I think I remember this kind of ache in my shoulders at my third birthday party, but I’m not sure exactly. It might be a story someone told me, although it feels like it was real when I think about it. But for sure after that, I just stopped paying attention to it. It was almost like that burden wasn’t there, except that it was.

What is this Burden?Late last night, just after midnight, I found I couldn’t sleep. If I turned onto my side, my neck wrenched. If I turned onto my back, my head ached. If I turned onto my belly, I couldn’t breathe. It was like there was this weight pressing down on me. That’s when I realized: there was a weight pressing down on me! It was there the whole time, if only I would open my eyes to see.

We got up, me and my burden, and went down to the kitchen table to have a cup of coffee. As I sat there with this burden on my shoulders, I realized for the first time how cramped and contorted and misshapen I had become with this burden on me. It had made me feel cranky and irritable and vulnerable. Out of that vulnerability, I had become aggressive and confrontational. Isn’t it possible, I thought, that all the world’s problems come from people under burdens just like mine? What if that is what keeps us from treating each other as brothers and sisters? The good part, I mean; not the part where they keep saying, “He’s on my side of the line! He touched me! He’s making faces!” You know, like brothers and sisters who get along.

“Hoo boy,” I said to myself. “Wouldn’t it be great if I could get this burden off my back? Then I could stretch my neck and stand up straight and feel better. Wouldn’t it be great if I could feel better?”

Right as I finished thinking this thought, literally right at the end of the “etter” in “better”, a passage from the Bible came into my head. You may know I’ve been reading the Bible for some years now, in an effort to understand where all these people I’ve disagreed with are coming from. Well, the following passage from the Bible, a pretty famous one, John 3:16, came into my head:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Everlasting life? Hang on, I thought, with a bit of cynicism. Everlasting life with this burden on my back didn’t sound like such a good option. But then I pulled my copy of King James off the shelf and came upon 1 Peter 5:6-8:

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Jesus holds onto my burden for meIf I only humble myself before God and give thanks to the Lord, I can toss my burden over to him, and he’ll catch it, and hold onto it for me and everything. That’s a pretty good deal.

And that burden’s pretty heavy, but if I watch out and tell the Lord when I see the devil about, walking around and looking to eat anything, I can just tell him and he’ll toss that burden onto the devil’s back. Crush!

Burden Shifted onto the Devil, Thanks to JesusIt sounds so good, so freeing, so liberating. It sounds like a better deal than walking around with this burden on my shoulders all the time, the burden that was so constant I just plain forgot about it. I can stop walking around with this burden if I just do one simple thing: accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior! The burden is the burden of sin, the burden of all the bad things I have done… and yes, I have done bad things, starting even before that third birthday party. Added to all that is the burden of the sin I was even born with, the sin of having had great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents who were cast out of the garden of Eden for eating fruit from the wrong tree, although that part is really just a story; the problem is that they tried to gain knowledge and control over things, to become gods. We got burdens ever since then for being greedy people who try to gain knowledge and to have an impact on the world around them, when knowledge and power are really the provenance of God.

So here’s my thinking, having stayed up the rest of the night and through the morning thinking about this. Here’s the deal that stands before me:

Being Happy With Jesus in a big hugMy end of the deal: I give up the idea that I can have an effect on the world around me and give up the search for knowledge of my own device. Instead, I put my trust in God and the Bible as the source of information and wisdom. The Bible tells me to accept Jesus as my personal savior, as the one who can make everything feel better, so I do it. Jesus’ end of the deal: In return, Jesus will take my burdens away and I will feel clean and stand up straight and bask in the light of the divine. I won’t be perfect, but I’ll be forgiven and feel good.

You know, if it’s legit, that’s actually a pretty good deal. Just give up the quest for earthly pursuits, stop trying to act like I’m a god by gathering knowledge and understanding from the world in my own right, trust in Jesus and the Bible instead, let them be divine, let them let me off the hook, and feel a whole lot better, forever.

170 million Americans have done it. Can 170 million Americans be wrong? The search for knowledge in this world is such a crock! I’m looking forward to another world to help me feel good. It’s time for me to lay down my burden and get what’s coming to me.

15 comments to It's Time to Lay Down My Burden

  • Dave

    Jim,

    As one who has debated with you at times,( I told you about the ache you felt, and you did a good job of mocking me) I can’t help but feel I am lining up to be sucker punched. If you’re serious check out “kingdomready.org”.

  • Jon

    Jim, you are such a bright man and so full of pride, I will pray for you, sucker punch or not.

    The real twist is the the line you quoted could actually read:

    For God so loved Jim…or Jon or Dave, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    He would have done the same for any ONE of us. So go figure. As for cynical…you have nothing on me when I was younger.

  • Jim

    I am as serious as the idea that we should ditch the burden of senses and reason, place trusting faith in the veracity of words in a book, and embrace the version of truth that makes us feel better.

  • dave

    What is it Jim? Things going so well for you that you still feel the need to mock God. Have those feelings of failure and suicide ebbed enough for you to devote your time to mock what you can’t understand? What is it you think you know?

    You can mock Christians Jim, they’re an easy target. But God cannot be mocked, and that’s what you do when you use His Word for your April Fool. Mocking God comes with consequences.You have no one to blame but you. Your a Fool Jim. An educated, intellegent Fool.I’m not sure what emotion you were trying to evoke, but I only feel pity.

  • Jacob

    Those darn Christians are crazy…

    Just look at these facts

    -Peter was crucified upside down
    -Andrew was bound to death
    -James , son of Zebedee, was beheaded
    -John was banished to the Isle of Patmos
    -Phillip was crucified
    -Bartholomew was beaten, crucified, then beheaded
    -Thomas was run through by a lance
    -Matthew was slain by the sword
    -James son of Alphaeus, was thrown from a pinnacle, then beaten to death
    -Thaddeus was shot to death by arrows
    -Simon was crucified
    -Paul was beheaded

    All of these guys where so crazy they did this for something they knew to be a lie. I mean really, they are all running around telling crazy stuff like we have seen Jesus raised from the dead. The rulers of the time told them to stop saying that or they would be put to some of the most gruesome deaths ever invented. Did these guys listen, no. Crazy men I tell you. Instead of taking this lie back and turning away they choose poverty, opression, beatings and ultimitly a horrible death where they were mocked and laughed at. They were even such crazy liers that they turned away the wealth they did have and crazy liers like Paul stopped killing Christians and died as one.

    Surely normla people would look at reason and logic. There is no way these people could have had a life changing experiance so profound. They must have been liers

    Or, maybe they all went crazy with the same mental disorder at the exact same time and no amount of pain or suffering could help cure it…

    The nerve of some people…

    • VM

      Jacob! Did you know that Jacob is a biblical name? Do you know what it means? Do you know what it stands for in the bible? It’s almost ironic because of your comment.

      Anyhow, YES, you are right. CHRISTIANS ARE CRAZY! We “get intensly involved or preoccupied” for God and others.

      If you ever get sick enough that you are dieying, a CRAZY christian, will take the time to go visit you and pray for your healing when your family will give the OK to pull the plug.

      If you lose everything, and don’t have nothing to eat or drink, a CRAZY CHRISTIAN founded mission will give you food to eat. Not to mention, be quick to clothe you, shelter you, and give you money without hesitation. The biggest mission in the world is CRAZY CHRISTIAN!

      The legacy those CRAZY people left, was the teaching of selfless PERSERVERANCE in good works for others.

      As far as our friend PAUL, Paul had no intention of becoming a Christian. Just like you seem to expose. However, he could not resist the power of God. Paul didn’t change on his own. God changed Paul (Acts 9). That teaches us that NO ONE, not even YOU could resist the power of God. The difference is that PAUL was naturally CRAZIER than you and me put together from birth, and God could use someone like that in his team to make a dent in times. NOT JUST ANYBODY CAN DO THAT.

      Well at least now you know, that if you ever fall you can always count on a CRAZY Christian to help if you ask, and that if you are good enough, God will change you to play in his team.

      Blessings!

  • Jacob

    VM, if you follow my responses in here you will note that I am a strong Christian. I am a seminary student at Midwestern Baptist. I was pointing out for the people who seem to think Christians are absurd and think that no proof exists the example of the first Christians. We find in the actions of the Apostles a disticnt change that no person could deny. These are men that coward in fear and were in hidding who suddenly rushed forth and died for there belief. I do not believe that any man would die a horrible death such as this for a lie. These were no quick and painless executions. Anybody who wants proof of the reserection simply should look at the actions of those who claim to have seen them. There actions back them up. My calling them crazy was an obviously failed attempt to poke a finger in the chest of the mockers. Anybody with half a brain can see something happened to those men. That in itself should get you to look, unless you choose to be blind.

    While we are back on this subject I would also like to point out another obvious thing. Why did the Roman government never say “Hey Christians, come look in this tomb. You must be mistaken because Jesus is still here” He was obviously dead, no man could survive that and yet no Roman authority pointed to the grave to show him dead…

    VM, I apologize about my failed attempt. My humor isnt as good as I thought

    • VM

      Jacob,

      I was researching a bible subject and I got dumped in this website by Google. After reading some of the postings and your comment, I couldn’t help but blend you in with the site. Forgive me as I am not a freequent visitor until now.

      It seems that most people don’t know that websites like this are fullfilling mere prophecy, and serve God’s purpose to guide followers to know where we stand in terms of THE END OF TIMES. The timeline is so long (6k years so far), that we need signs to know what we need to do. It can’t get any more simple.

      Isaiah 30:
      8 Go now, write it on a tablet for them,
      inscribe it on a scroll,
      that for the days to come
      it may be an everlasting witness.

      9 These are rebellious people, deceitful children,
      children unwilling to listen to the LORD’s instruction.

      10 They say to the seers,
      “See no more visions!”
      and to the prophets,
      “Give us no more visions of what is right!
      Tell us pleasant things,
      prophesy illusions.

      Like Jesus said to Satan: “It is written…”

      Again forgive me and Thank You for acknowledging the REAL HEROES of this world.

  • VM, as much as you believe in the power of prayer to heal sick people, the available information suggests that Christianity actualoy has a negative association with health. See, for example, the link between high rates of Christianity and relatively high rates of child death: http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2009/04/04/christianity-linked-with-child-death/

    • VM

      Truman,

      Did you know that a Gallop poll (http://www.gallup.com/poll/103459/Questions-Answers-About-Americans-Religion.asp) declared in the winter of 2007 that 91% of Americans identify themselves as a Christian one way or another? And out of that 91% only 44% are active Christians? Do you really believe that?

      I’m sorry to dissapoint those who claim to be Christian, and do nothing to earn the title; Devine healing is only for the righteous and for those who GOD has found MERCY for; which don’t come in big numbers.

      So if your calculations are based on the 91% and not the 44% which I believe are actually even lower, Ofcourse you will get a bigger number of deaths in Christians. That only leaves one athiest out of 10 Americans to measure against. The numbers can’t be accurately measured because they are all blended together.

      Don’t be decieved by a title. Anybody can call themself what they want, and be something entirely different. However, you can’t rob a TRUE FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN of DEVINE HEALING and I don’t believe you can measure that.

      • No, my calculations are not based on the Gallup poll. They’re based on the American Religious Identification Survey, as the article linked to clearly states. Also, the absolute number shouldn’t make a difference. The scatter plot graph in the article show a trend – that as the percentage of residents identifying themselves as Christian increases, the rate of child death increases as well.

        If you can’t measure healing, then in what way can you call it healing? If there is true healing in faith healing, then it should be easy to measure. The facts contradict your claims.

        Also, the Gallup page you link to doesn’t appear to be in service any more. Did you actually look at it?

  • VM

    Truman,

    I don’t know why the link appears to be removed. If you would like to research further, you can go to Gallup.com and look in the Religion archives. The poll article was written Dec. 24, 2007, titled “Questions and Answers about American’s Religion”. See the quotations below.

    As far as “Devine healing”, you call it that, because it was healing followed by someone’s fasting, prayer, or both. You would have to survey those people for results and not Christianity as a whole. Again, a title is just a title. I claimed to be Catholic for 25 years without ever setting foot in a Catholic church. That was in my culture and that is what I claimed.

    As far as child death rates rising with Christianity, as you can see below, there is a good chance it is not accurate regardless of the survey method, as the 80/20 rule also applies to Christianity.

    “…About 82% of Americans in 2007 told Gallup interviewers that they identified with a Christian religion. That includes 51% who said they were Protestant, 5% who were “other Christian,” 23% Roman Catholic, and 3% who named another Christian faith, including 2% Mormon.

    Because 11% said they had no religious identity at all, and another 2% didn’t answer, these results suggest that well more than 9 out of 10 Americans who identify with a religion are Christian in one way or the other….”

    “How many Americans can be classified as frequent church attenders?
    Based on the responses to this question, about a third say they attend once a week, with another 12% saying they attend almost every week. This means that about 44% of Americans report what can be called frequent church attendance — almost every week or every week…”

    “Why is this question controversial?
    Sociologists and other scholars have attempted to calibrate the “last seven days” response against other ways of measuring church attendance, and have argued that it produces an overestimate. Some scholars actually traveled around an Ohio county and totaled the attendance at every church in that county, even including counting cars in parking lots.
    They found that the actual “warm bodies” in churches added up to a significantly lower number than what the residents of that county had reported in a survey…”

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