Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I can't carry this any further...

“Spiritual Help Line.  How can I help you?”

I never knew how the person on the other end of the line would answer that question.  It was a national broadcast, and there was no way to identify the identity or location of the callers.  One day the response was, “I’ve got a loaded gun on my lap and you’ve got 1 minute to talk me out of using it.”

The only responses I could coax out of the man were, “Yes” or “No”.  Eventually, I gleaned enough information from him to determine that he was angry at God about something, and it was something fresh and painful.  So, having failed at all previous attempts to get the man to talk, I decided to provoke him.  It worked.  He took my bait and started pushing back at me.  I, in essence, dared him to tell God why he was angry.  Somehow I managed to talk the guy into praying, but believe me, he wasn’t the only one praying.  He began to tell God about the pain, and then stopped.  He bellowed into the phone, “…and if that’s the kind of God you are…  then, FINE!” …< click >

As I heard the dial tone, I threw the phone off of the hook and dropped to the floor, pleading with God, “Lord, stop him!  Let him miss… misfire… only injure himself… just STOP HIM, PLEASE!”  My mind was pulsing with adrenaline, and played and replayed the conversation in my mind.  What if…?  What if…?  What if…?  What if…?  What if…?  WHAT IF!!!?

I went from adrenaline to exhaustion rather quickly.  I couldn’t reach any answers to the questions that crowded my mind like popping popcorn.  I couldn’t continue to play the what-ifs.  I couldn’t carry it any further!

... so, I carried it to God.  

I walked up to the front of the church, and knelt.  In my mind’s eye, I saw myeself place a small, golden box on the steps.  I placed the whole conversation into the box.  I put the lid on.  I tied a golden ribbon on top to hold the lid in place.  

Then, I removed my hands from the box and turned my eyes toward heaven.  And I poured my heart out, “Lord, I will answer for every word, every action, and every thought.  I did what seemed best.  I did all I could think to do.  I sought to honor You and this man.  Please, Lord, forgive me for my short-comings, but, I cannot carry this any further.  I need You to carry it from here.  So, I give it to You.”   

Then, I stood.  I turned around.  And, I walked away.  I didn’t look back, and I’ve never wanted to open that box again…

…because it’s not mine.  

I gave it to God.  

It belongs to Him now.

Some burdens, 
some grief, 
some wounds 
are too heavy to carry.   

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor.  Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5.6-7.

I’ll never know the outcome of that morning.  But my Lord knows. 

What about you?  What burdens are you straining to carry?  What grief needs comforting?  What wounds need to be cleaned and re-bandaged?  What wrongs do you need to forgive?  For what wrongs do you need to seek forgiveness?

Approach God with your gift.  Put all of these things into the box, one at a time.  Place the lid on it.  Now, tie it up with a nice ribbon and take your hands off of it.  It’s not yours to carry anymore...

…because it’s not yours.  

You gave it to God.  

It belongs to Him now.  

Let Him carry it from here.


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  2. ....Whoa....I'm nearly speechless. That was a powerful blog. I like the idea of using a box as a place to put those burdens in...great symbolism!

  3. Thank you for these amazing stories as some of them really hit close to home and have given a new light to otherwise dark issues.