“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
“Don’t worry; I’ll help you,” I told my Leyland Cypress evergreens. The load of snow on each branch threatened to distort their shapes.
I swatted snow off the first limb. It lifted slowly upward as if to say, “Thank you. That feels much better.”
The second branch responded similarly. Displaying its graceful relief. The two released branches looked like a picture of praise to God.
Thank You, God, for this symbol of burdens. How I rejoice like this tree when I surrender my worries to You.
My mission continued. One branch didn’t raise its limb when struck. I peered closer to the trunk and investigated.
“What’s holding you down? Oh, I see. Your neighbor is weighing you down.”
I understand, Lord. Others can pull us down. People who complain about their aliments entice us to admire our own aches. I’m grateful for godly friends who, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
I aimed my snow scraper brush at the adjacent branch and smacked it. Both boughs floated heavenward.
Branches close to the ground were buried in snow.
Now, Lord, You’re showing me how my cares can bury me. They beat me down so low I no longer focus on You. Like days I’m tempted to encase myself in blankets and remain in bed for the day. Without trusting You to help me serve others.
The whacks each branch received restored new life.
Thank You, Jesus, for bearing my burden on the cross. And for easing my daily burdens. “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (Psalm 68:19).
I finished the job; grateful God provided the strength and the lesson.
Ask God to reveal His presence to you today. Then watch and listen!
Prayer: Dear Father, Help me throw off everything that hinders my walk with You. Remind me of Your invitation to, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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” (Matthew 11:28-29). In Jesus’ name, Amen.
About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 33-year-old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness. http://mentalillnessmom2mom.net/
Vicki wrote a picture book about bullying: Heart Eyes: Beth and the Bullies. You can find out more about that book by visiting her Heart Eyes website: http://www.hearteyes.net
Has God surprised you with His presence? Did He speak to you during the busyness of your day?
If you are looking for some hope, this is a beautiful video of “God Will Take Care of You.”
The video below is even more precious, however! You know how Jesus says to have the faith of a child? O. My. Goodness. Sweetest video ever of this family (yes, the toddler belts it out too) singing “God Will Take Care of You” It is worth watching until the end. -Lisa