“. . . to refuse to bend our shoulders to carry a load is to miss a new opportunity for growth.” ~ by J.R. Miller from Streams in the Desert ~
Reading this quote today takes me back a century or two. No I mean decade, I’m not that old. No comments from the audience please. Way back in the days when shoulder pads came into fashion to make women look better and more sophisticated.
Back then they were so popular they even sold them separately for people to add to their clothes if they didn’t have any. Every time you put your shirt on the first thing you had to do was adjust your shoulder pads to get them to lie correctly. After a few years of that when it was time for the fad to fade the first thing people did instead of installing them was to tear them out.
While the women fought shoulder pads men had their own shoulder adjustment to do. Squared shoulders were a sign of a strong tough man as they stood tall and firm. Lucky for them they did it themselves with no added padding.
We as Christians could take a lesson from the fashion world and the world of square shoulder men. We don’t need to be built like a tanker to do it or add extra padding. It’s done in our heart. Not to make us look better but to be better.
God is the tailor that installs that extra padding needed to have stronger shoulders. Shoulders that is capable of carrying heavy loads yet soft enough to absorb buckets of tears. If we were to get out and read the instructions we would find the first thing we need to do is bend our shoulders in order to accept the load given us.
We often think the bending is done under the weight of the load but it’s done when we first accept the load. To refuse to bend our shoulders in acceptance is like turning up our nose at Christ and telling Him to carry his own cross on the way to His crucifixion. Once our journey of carrying life’s load begins we find we are not alone. It may seem hard at times but our shoulders are squared for a reason. It’s because we have the Lord at our side lifting up our arms to keep us strong and upright.
Yesterday I told my sister occasionally in the middle of the night when the task of getting in and out of bed is difficult because of the pain of the bone cancer in my spine tears surface in my eyes. Same thing happened my first day back to work after being gone a month since I was diagnosed with cancer. As I laid my head down on my desk to take a nap (I know its everyone’s dream come true, ha ha) tears surfaced in my eyes.
The pinch of my load was getting to me but I had a decision to make. The decision to not bend under the load but bend to accept the load and walk side by side with Jesus to carry it through till the end. For every journey I’ve taken with the Lord each has produced a phenomenal crop of spiritual fruit. This journey will be no different because I refuse to be different.
We must never doubt the fact that God helps us carry our loads. When we get weak that’s where He gets strong. He is our shoulder pads installed, the reason we can stand tall. To bend under the pressure would be like ripping out the shoulder pads because we didn’t like the way they were hanging. We may need to reach into our hearts once in awhile to adjust them but that’s okay.
We don’t have an “oversized load” what we have is an enormous Lord. One that is bigger than anything life can throw our way. One that doesn’t burden us down but helps us carry our loads to the bitter or I should say better end! An end marked with victory and growth beyond measure. Praise the Lord!
Our host today is Tami on her blog, The Next Step so you need to get over there and join with us. If you think about it that is what being a Christian is all about, helping others bear their loads. We aren’t there to carry it for them but we can surely help. Thanks to all of you reading this for helping me carry a heavy load. As my sister said yesterday to me, consider yourself hugged!