BOXING UP YOUR BURDEN Andy Hollifield 8-1-17

Exodus 18:22 ….so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

As I sat in church on Monday night, I began to think about this thought; Carrying your burdens in a box. I had some stuff on my mind that has troubled me recently that I have been praying about and I guess that may have been where the thought came from. Ultimately, it came from the Lord and may have been just something to make me get in his word a little more so he could strengthen me. As I began to think more about it after I had made a note of it, I thought to myself that it sure would be nice sometimes if you could just box up your burdens and carry them around just until you got tired and then set them down for a while. I have found myself trying that many times over the years and I can tell you from experience that it doesn’t work. If God has put something on your heart and in your heart, you can’t just box it up and put it away. There has been multiple times in my mission work, that I have contemplated just giving it up. At times, I have just looked back on all the things God has let me be a part of and other times I have had one of my ministry board members that I confided in that always encouraged me to seek the Lord and definitely not to make that kind of decision when I was in a low point in my heart and mind. That proved to be good advice and I have followed it and sought the Lord each time and always came to the same conclusion: How could I quit on a God that has blessed both me and H.O.P.E. Ministries like he has? Those were some of the times that I learned that when it is a burden from the Lord, you can’t get rid of it that easy. Looking back at some of those low points that I needed encouragement, I sure am thankful that I had someone to give it to me and most of all I am glad I couldn’t quit. God has continued to bless H.O.P.E. Ministries and has allowed us the privilege of getting involved in more and more stuff. This summer, we did food distributions in three counties in June and July. Although the attendance was far less than we wanted to see at each of them but one, we were able to give out around 70-75 bibles through these distributions. We have a written guarantee from God in Isaiah 55:11 that his word will accomplish what he sends it to do and where he sends it to do it and with whoever he sends it to. God has also gave me confirmation this summer to begin making plans for opening a home for unwed mothers. We are currently looking for a building to set that up in and are hoping to house 6 or 8 girls. That is still in the infancy of its development; pun intended. We have also had 5 churches help us on projects this year that never have before and 1 took us on to collect money each week for a year and use it to do shoeboxes for us for Christmas. Of those, 1 of the others took us on with monthly financial support, 3 allowed us to use their facilities for food distributions and 1 of those also helped with the expense of it. That is just so far this year and were only 7 months into it. As I look at all of that I think to myself; I sure am glad I didn’t quit!

I didn’t start this post to be about me or H.O.P.E. Ministries, but like I always say; sometimes I am the best example I know of what NOT to do. I have been guilty of wanting to just box up that burden and leave it sitting somewhere and go on my merry little way. Anyone that has ever pastored a church, or has taken on a work for the Lord, I dare say, has been guilty of the same thing but I can only speak for myself. It wasn’t a question of “if” but how often. I loved my church but the thing about a burden is that when you close your eyes to try to sleep, it is often the last thing you think of at night and it hits your mind in the morning as soon as your eyes pop open.

God don’t put burdens on your mind, he puts them in your heart. He puts it in and he is the only one that can take it out. With all of that said, we will look at some of the scripture I listed above. The word “burden” is in the bible 69 times while “burdens” is used 25 times. “Burden” is defined as; that which is carried or a load. It is also said it is that which is borne with difficulty or obligation. I found it interesting that the first time the word is used in the bible it is when Moses’ father in law told him to set up judges (Exodus 18:22) so he would have men he could share the burden with. Then in Psalms 55, God promises to sustain us if we only cast our burden on him. He then promises that the righteous will never be moved. Then, the first time it is mentioned in the New Testament in Matthew 11, it is the invitation to give Christ our burden and to take his yoke because his load, or burden, is light. It’s funny how both the Old and New Testaments start off trying to lighten our burden. But then in Galatians 6, Paul is telling us to “Bear ye one another’s burdens”. A couple of verses later, the bible tells us “every man shall bear his own burden”. That simply means that, although you may need help, you still can’t quit. You can’t expect me to bear your burden if you don’t have a desire to carry it yourself.

There have been a lot of people who God has put a burden in their heart and they have boxed it up and laid it down. You may be one of those people and I assure you that you will not find any kind of real peace until you are willing to bear the burden that God placed in your heart. Sometimes it is a heavy load that eats at you continually and sometimes you just carry it out of obligation. I implore you; whatever your reason is for trying to lay down your burden, encourage yourself and pick it back up. You may be standing between heaven and hell for someone. If it’s only in your mind you can lay it down but if God has put it in your heart, you can’t get away from it. Oh but, what a sweet peace when you finally get under your burden and carry it for God’s glory. I hope this has been a help and encouragement to someone. Have a blessed in the Lord !!!

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