As I make my way through the four readings in my reading plan, I am mindful that, when I’m done, I hope to put down a few thoughts about something I’ve encountered. Sometimes I’ll read something and pause immediately to chew on it before continuing. Other times, it’s more like I’m picking up things along the way and then go back and see which I feel led to hover over for a bit more. This morning’s experience was shaping up to be more the latter than the former — until I got to the second to last verse in my last reading.
As I read the first part of Numbers 20, I noted again how God told Moses to “tell the rock” to yield water, but Moses, frustrated and yielding to grand-standing temptation, instead yelled at the people and then struck the rock. Oh, the water still came out, God was determined to “show Himself holy” (20:13). But Moses, because of that incident, was disqualified from entering the promised land. My take away? God’s going to do what God’s going to do for His glory, despite the clay feet of even His most faithful servants.
Then from Moses to the “scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” of Matthew 23. And it’s how Jesus concludes His warnings and woes that grabs me. He addresses Jerusalem, O Jerusalem, the city known for murdering its prophets. And if I were to pen something concerning this outpouring of the broken heart of Messiah over the rejection of His people, it would be the God language He uses in referring to Himself. How He longed to gather the children of Jerusalem “together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings” (23:37). Echoes of Psalm 36:7, Ruth 2:12, and Isaiah 31:5.
Next, cue Paul and the first part of Romans 6, and there’s a ton of stuff there you can noodle on. Possible title for a musing here? Living with Christ. Because of our union with Christ — through death, burial, and resurrection — death and sin no longer have dominion over the believer and so we are free to live, really live! For, “if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him” (6:8). We are alive to God in Christ Jesus. Our union with Him the source of our power through Him.
Any one of those passages provides more than enough to prime the pump allowing the fingers to flow over the keyboard.
But then my last reading, Psalm 55. And the second to last verse stops me in my tracks.
Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
(Psalm 55:22 ESV)
I read this and realized how distracted I had been throughout my previous readings. Often having to restart paragraphs multiple times because of a multitude of things running through my head. A heaviness having enveloped me even as I tried to hear God speak through His word. A weight even as I tried to weigh what I was reading. But then this verse, and God’s whisper becomes a shout.
Throw it on Me, Pete. For a few moments shed the lot you’ve been given to carry, pass on the stuff that’s been put on your plate to be concerned about. Not that I’ll take it away. Not that it will even become any lighter. But cast it My way, and I will sustain you. I will contain the burden, and I will support you. I will restrain the overwhelming tide, even as I nourish you. I will maintain it, and you will endure. So, Pete, cast your burden on the LORD.
Hmm. Kind of closed the door on everything else I was thinking. A promise to claim. A good place to camp. A familiar oasis much needed in an arid space.
Spoken by the God who is more than able to show His glory despite His servant’s frailty. Revealing again the heart of God who desires to take His own under His wing. A reminder of the power of God to keep on walking in newness of life because of our union with Christ. A sustaining power.
So, cast your burden on the LORD.
His grace all sufficient. His glory everlasting.
Thanks for the inspiration! Our Care Group meets tonight and we are looking at Mark 11:11-25. The main idea is “Faith Produces Fruit.” But part of the aim is to know Jesus / God better. (Why would a loving God curse a poor innocent (green) fig tree?) As part of the lesson I am asking everyone to think of a verse that describes what they think God is like. My verse is Psalm 55:22, God is my burden bearer and sustainer.
We appreciate you and pray for you every day, Bob