Every now and then, I will sit at my desk, look at some website, news story, or social media post, and feel so helplessly, overwhelmingly disheartened. The surrounding world is rife with hatefulness. It is rife with ignorance. It is rife with malcontent. I listen to my fellow Christians berate each. I watch as they accuse others for lacking faith; for what? For utilizing universal health precautions. For using sound judgment in the face of global catastrophes. I have seen the non-believer and believer, alike, question whether God truly exists and, if so, why does He not seem to care about us anymore.
Confession. I have had a lot of anger towards God. I have felt His hands drop the weight of the world on my shoulders. I have begged for Him to take the cup and offer it to someone else. This year is hard. It sucks sometimes. At a church service I attended recently, the pastor communicated that God absolutely gives us more than we can handle. That’s partly why we’re to turn to Him, to use His strength when ours is lacking. Maybe it’s the whole purpose of faith. Believe, when there seems no reason to, because He is there and He is waiting.
1. God is bigger.
It’s easy to imagine our burdens as giants. They tower overhead, causing us to feel smaller and smaller. What is your giant? What burdens oppress you to the point you want to shut down? Is it a family member? Job? Health concerns? Is it society? How about any of the countless burdens we face in our lifetime? When we do not have God in our lives, or we’re not keeping Him where He belongs, life seems too much. Matthew 19:26 tells us: ““But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”” Likewise, Jeremiah 32:17 states, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” He encompasses us- including our burdens- in His love. We are incapable of enduring all our hurts; our strength is not infinite. God is. God’s is.
2. God keeps welcoming us back into his arms.
Remember the parable of the prodigal son? What about the lost sheep? How about the story of Jonah? Peter? Paul? David? Throughout scripture, God sees us turn away, ignore Him, and go about the world’s business. And yet, every time we turn back to Him, the Father welcomes us into His embrace. I can be angry at Him. I can want to do my own thing. But, God’s still there- the ever-patient parent- waiting for my return. That’s not to say we should live in sin and keep running to Him when we feel like it. No, we should always seek God. We should humble ourselves before Him. But, God knows our sin. He understands us in ways we never can comprehend ourselves. Isn’t that beautiful?
Keep in mind, that’s simply not saying that if we cry out for Him, God will welcome us back. Matthew 7:21 says, “”Not everyone who says to me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Faith and obedience. Living the Christlike life is important. Moreover, believing in it. Believing God sent His son to perish for our sins. Believing that Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father. Believing that God’s plan and His will is bigger than us. And better for us.
I think when we can return God to where He belongs in our lives, we can start seeing just how small our burdens and the hatefulness of the world really is.