[b]Part 4: Burdenless, Restful and Carefree[/b]
Most Christians are like a man who was toiling along the road, bending under a heavy burden, when a wagon overtook him, and the driver kindly offered to help him on his journey. He joyfully accepted the offer, but when seated in the wagon, continued to bend beneath his burden, which he still kept on his shoulders. "Why don't you lay down your burden?" asked the kind-hearted driver. "Oh!" replied the man, "I feel that it is almost too much to ask you to carry me, and I could not think of letting you carry my burden too." And so Christians, who have given themselves into the care and keeping of the Lord Jesus, still continue to bend beneath the weight of their burdens, and often go weary and heavy laden throughout the whole length of their journey.
When I speak of burdens, I mean [i]everything[/i] that troubles us, whether they are spiritual concerns or earthly concerns. The first burden, which I believe to be the greatest burden we have to carry in life, is self. Our own daily living, our feelings, our weaknesses, and temptations - these are the things that confuse us more than anything else. In getting rid of your burdens, therefore, the first one you must get rid of is [i]yourself[/i]. You must hand yourself, and all your inward and outward experiences, over into the care and keeping of your God, and [i]leave[/i] it there.
Say to Him, "Here, Lord, I give myself to you. I have tried in every way I could think of to manage myself and to make myself what I know I ought to be, but I have always failed. Now I give it up to you. Take complete possession of me. Work in me all the good pleasure of your will. Mold and fashion me into a vessel that seems good to you. I leave myself in Your hands. I believe You will, according to Your promise, make me into 'a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work'" (2 Timothy 2:21).
Next, you must get rid of every other burden - your health, your reputation, your Christian work, your houses, your children, and your business. In short you must get rid of every inward and outward thing that concerns you.
It is generally easier for us to trust the Lord for our future than it is to trust Him for our present life. We know we are helpless regarding the future, but we feel as if the present is in our own hands and must be carried on our own shoulders. Most of us have an unconfessed idea that it is enough to ask the Lord to carry ourselves without asking Him to carry our burdens, too. Let the Lord carry our burdens and manage our affairs for us, instead of trying to do it ourselves.
There are many other things to be said about this life hid with Christ in God. There are many details concerning what the Lord Jesus does for those who give themselves to Him. The heart of the whole matter is stated here. The soul that has discovered this secret of simple faith has found the key that will unlock the whole treasure house of God. Relax every strain and release every burden. Let yourself go in perfect abandon of ease and comfort. Be assured that since He holds you up you are perfectly safe. Your part is simply to rest. His part is to sustain you. He cannot fail.
Let us look at another analogy which our Lord Himself has abundantly approved - that of the child-life. For "Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said... Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:2-3).
I was visiting once in a wealthy home where there was a little adopted child who received all the love and tenderness and care that human hearts could give. As I watched that child running in and out day by day, free and light-hearted, with the happy carelessness of childhood, I thought what a picture it was of our wonderful position as children in the house of our Heavenly Father. And I said to myself, "If the loving hearts around this child would be grieved to see her worried or anxious about herself in any way - about whether her food and clothes would be provided, or how she was to get her education or her future support. How much more must the great, loving heart of our God and Father be grieved and wounded at seeing His children taking so much anxious care and thought!" And I understood why it was that our Lord had said to us so emphatically, "Take no thought for your life" (Matthew 6:25).
This life in faith, then, about which I am writing, consists in just this - being a child in the Father's house. And when this is said, enough is said to change every weary, burdened life into one of blessedness and rest.
Leave yourselves in His hands. Learn to be literally "careful for nothing" and you will find it to be a fact that "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3). There is such a thing as having one's soul kept in perfect peace here in this life. Child-like trust in God is the key to its attainment.
[i]I am currently reading through Hannah Whitall Smiths classic [u]A Christian's Secret of a Happy Life[/u] and couldn't continue without sharing this treasure I have found with you. I hope you will be blessed as I have been. Your comments are welcome and encouraged.[/i]