Why God gives us burdens
More than once we've discussed power in our home. Horsepower. How much can a vehicle pull? It's a good question, and my boys come by such curiosity honestly. I probably asked the same thing of my dad, who probably asked it of his dad, . . .
But as I've pointed out, the ability to do a job is not dependent on horsepower alone. That horsepower has to make connection with the ground—through traction—or the result is just a bunch of noise.
We hitched thirty-six combined horsepower (three 12-horsepower lawnmowers) to a pile of brush and confirmed the veracity of my assertion.
Lots of rumble and some old-fashioned yelling couldn't get the brush all the way to the bonfire pile.
What those little tractors needed was weight—a burden to press them down to the ground, to help the tires bite into grass and earth.
In this case, Melissa, Uncle Joel, and I provided needed ballast—and with the added weight the three lawnmowers dragged their load the last few critical feet.
Ever wonder why God gives you burdens? They feel like hindrances, things that drag you down, slow you down, hold you down. Things that keep you from getting the job done, from going where you need to go, from moving with speed and freedom.
And, in one sense, they are.
Paul begged God to release him from the burden of his "thorn" in the flesh. Each time, God denied the request saying, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness" (II Corinthians 12:9).
"Made perfect?" What does that mean? God's has all power; there's nothing He cannot do. No dynomometer can measure the horsepower of His infinite supply. But God wants His power to gain traction in our lives.
And the way He does that is through our weakness—through burdens that push us to the ground and remind us of our utter inability.
Weighted down, pressed beyond ourselves, we're prepared to connect with the with the power of God. "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (II Corinthians 12:10).
Let's face it, adult bodies hanging off the back of those mowers gave them a whole lot more to carry. We put far more pressure on those tires and gave the suspensions a workout.
But the added burdens put thirty-six horsepower to work.
Why that burden in my life—your life? Consider what God will do when His power gains traction in our lives.
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ will rest upon me"
(II Corinthians 12:9).
© August 2011 by Robert G. Robbins