When caring for my young adult son who was struggling to breathe due to a life-threatening illness, I felt overwhelmed. Earlier in life I had experienced the untimely death of our 17 month-old son from bacterial meningitis. Now this. A heavy weight had landed on my shoulders, and I could not bear it.
Although I said nothing to my son, I cried out to the Lord, not audibly but with anguish in my heart. “Lord, I cannot bear this burden!” He answered promptly in my spirit, “You don’t have to. I am bearing it for you.”
Although I hadn’t thought about it for years, the words to an old hymn popped into my mind, and as I began humming the tune, my spirit lifted and I felt strengthened.
These are the words:
“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 Rev. Johnson Oatman, Jr., Music by Bertha M. Lillenas, Copyright 1933).
I can’t explain the degree to which my heart was lifted, my countenance changed, and I had the distinct feeling that everything would be all right. I hummed the song again and again to myself and then I sang it to my son.
We prayed together. He made it through the night and his condition gradually improved. I’m happy to report that he is doing well two years later, and although he still deals with a difficult physical condition, he has continued to gain strength and a positive outlook.
Prayer: Dear Father, Please help us remember Your Word in Psalm 146:8 “The Lord lifts the burden of those bent beneath their loads.” Thank You for Your presence and comfort. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
About the Author:
Fran Sandin, wife of a medical doctor, is a nurse, mother, grandmother, organist, freelance writer, and author engaged in the ministry of encouragement. Visit her web site at http://www.fransandin.com .