Did You Know Your ‘Burden’ Is A Gift? – Sunday Thought For The Day
David in Psalm 55:22 instructs us: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Let’s examine the opening directive of this verse.
Benson in his commentary explains: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord — Whoever thou art that art burdened, and whatever the burden is; whatever affliction God sendeth to thee; all thy trials and troubles, thy crosses and distresses, thy cares and fears, nay, and all thy affairs, lay upon the shoulders of the Almighty, and commit to him, by faith and prayer, with a confident expectation of a good issue. He directs his speech to himself, or to his own soul, as he, [David] often does in this book, and withal to all good men in like circumstances. The word יהבךְ, jehabecha [i.e. burden], however, here rendered thy burden, properly means, thy gift, or portion: for even the afflictions, trials, and troubles of good men are God’s gifts to them, and are termed such in Scripture, Php 1:29; John 18:11. Or, he may intend gifts of another kind, namely, such as are agreeable and pleasing to us; and then his meaning is, Whatever blessings God has given thee to enjoy, commit to his custody, and use to his glory; and particularly commit the keeping of thy soul to him. Or, Whatever it is that thou desirest God should give thee, leave it to him to give it thee in his own way and time.”
The Pulpit Commentary breaks the verse down in simplicity saying: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord; rather, thy portion – or, the lot assigned thee – that which God has given thee to bear. And he shall sustain thee. God will support thee under the lot which he assigns, however hard it is. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved; i.e.to be disturbed, shaken, unsettled from their faith in him. Note that these promises are made to the righteous only; and, among them, only to those who cast themselves in full faith upon God.”
We too often mistakenly take the word “burden” to exclusively mean a painful, heavy, arduous, weight that we are suffering. But, that is myopic and narrow. When we understand “burden” as David referenced it; we realize whether pain or loss or something enjoyable and rewarding, it’s to be cast upon the Lord – we’ve reached a maturity in Christ in which we’re able to give praises and give thanks to God in all things, i.e., all situations.
Leaning upon the Lord is not a test of who God is, rather it is a test of who we are in Christ. In my book “Alone With Jesus: How I Start Each Day” in the chapter titled “The Christ Side,” I share about the afternoon I came home to find a stranger sitting in the living room surrounded by a dolly and several large trash bags filled to overflowing with his belongings. I said, hello to gentleman who was obviously homeless. As I wrote, it appeared that I was the only one surprised. Not even our dog and cats seemed to find his presence unusual. I set off in search of my wife and son; upon finding them I said: “There’s a strange man sitting in ‘my living room’ and would someone mind telling me what’s going on.” What I didn’t write is that my wife had responded: “It’s not your living room; it’s God’s living room” – she then went on to explain how homeless gentleman had come to be with us.
The point I make is that our home was and is a gift, i.e., ‘burden’ that we/my wife “cast upon the Lord,” for Him to use to His glory. Our prayer ministry was started because of a man whose family has suffered the near unimaginable loss of family lives, permanent life altering family illnesses and much more. But, through what many would consider paralyzing catastrophic suffering the gentleman genuinely praised God and shared that there are many who have it worse than he did. His ‘burden’ led my Pastor and I to start a prayer ministry that we individually, had each been praying about starting for a couple of years unbeknownst to either of us. A few days ago I awakened early morning with prayer on my lips for a person. I felt led to share with the person that I had awakened praying for them. They responded: “Wow! That God cares that much about me, to invoke you to prayer, is still astounding to me! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.” The wife of a family who are very dear friends with my family was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), shortly after they were married. The past several years she has been completely incapacitated. Even before becoming completely bedridden, she was unable to move about freely with her husband and children. Most would view that as a horrible “burden.” They, however, see the blessing of it because of the great number of doctors, nurses, and ambulance staff she has been able to share Christ with, who otherwise may not have received Him. Every person here mentioned, my family included, have cast their ‘burden’ upon the Lord and their ‘gift’ has been used to help others in miraculous ways to the glory and praise of God.
Each of these situations was a ‘burden’ cast upon the Lord, out of which God brought praise and glory to Himself. God used the ‘burden’ of one family to start a special ministry. The other person, was reminded that they are so important to God that He would awaken another person with prayer on their lips for them. The other family is blessed, because God has received praise from doctors and hospital staff who are forced to acknowledge that only God could have sustained her during no few life-threatening instances. My family cast our ‘burden’ upon the Lord and He has used it to give comfort to the homeless, reunite a young girl with her family, and as a place of hospitality for those God sends our way.
Let us stop looking at our ‘burdens’ as only being a hardship; let us understand the scripture as the Psalmist intended.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here