As I was walking to class the other day, a thought crossed my mind. I walk a considerable distance every day to class, carrying a backpack laden down with my laptop, charger, notebooks, homework papers and other odds and ends. By the time I reach my destination, even on cooler days I am warm and sometimes a little tired! But how much easier would my walk be if I need not take that extra weight on my back? It would probably not feel like much exercise at all, but the extra pounds on my back make the travel just that much more difficult. Most college kids wouldn’t hesitate to call their backpacks weighed down with homework and supplies a “burden.”
I thought of the story of Christian, in “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and how Christian goes through much of his life with a heavy burden on his back, and then he begins his journey to the Promised Land and along the way, loses the burden off of his back and rejoices at the cross that takes away that burden. Now imagine we all carry a heavy, tiresome burden, a burden much heavier than even the most dedicated college kid’s backpack. This burden of sin, sorrow and pain weighs us down, makes our travels difficult and we soon become weary. However, we can have that burden removed!
As I thought of how much easier my daily walk across campus would be without my backpack, I thought of how much easier my walk through life would be without my burden of sin. Without my backpack, I could walk more freely, I could enjoy the sights and sounds of early morning campus life, and I would probably enjoy the walk much more! Likewise, without this burden of sin, would we not enjoy life much more, the beauty of the sights and sounds of God’s world? Our sin, though, distracts us, and we want nothing more than to have the trials, the pain and the tears taken away.
The shocking thing is we can! In fact, we HAVE had this burden taken away. When we find ourselves bending under the strain of our burden, we (as Christians) turn to the cross. The cross of Christ and the marvelous work He performed there takes that burden away, just as it did for Christian in “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” Christian was overjoyed and astounded by the removal of his burden, and how coming to the cross took the burden away! We should remember this.
One of my favorite songs is “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” because we are told that it is an incredible privilege to bring everything to God in prayer. It speaks of the peace we forfeit when we do not do so. Christian learned this when he came before the cross, and we can too. Our burdens can be removed, and we can go through life happier and full of the joy of Christ. We can have this simply by coming to the cross, coming before our Savior, bringing everything to God in prayer.
How incredible. This burden that is so much more tiring than any physical burden that we carry, heavier than any schoolbag can be removed. “Oh, what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!” That pain can be removed, completely disposed of by taking everything to God, by going to the cross, dropping our burdens and picking up the joys of Christ and amazing Christian living.
There will always be sin in the world. This life will never be perfect. The very world we live in is under the curse and is corrupted with sin. But our personal burdens often cause us so much pain, and we can have that burden removed. Even the most painful, sorrowful, broken heart can be healed. God will remove the burden of sin that often brings us to our knees in tears and agony, and He will replace it with the true joy of His love. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!