|Theme:||God helps us when our burdens are heavy. Proper 9 (14) Year A
|Object:||A weight bench and barbell set. If possible, have a young person who is into weightlifting to lift weights while you act as the "spotter."
|Scripture:||Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)|
Are you in pretty good shape? Are you pretty strong? Do you exercise regularly? I have decided that I need to get in better shape, so one day last week I went to the gym to work out. There were a lot of others there working out too. Some were riding exercise bicycles and some were lifting weights. As I watched the weightlifters, I noticed that some of them were working in pairs. One of them would lie down on the bench to lift the weights while the other would stand near the lifter's head. I learned that the person standing near the lifter's head is called the spotter.
The spotter stands near the lifter's head just in case the lifter gets in trouble and needs some help. Sometimes, the spotter doesn't do anything at all. Just knowing that the spotter is there is enough to give the lifter the confidence needed to lift the weights.
At other times, the spotter calls out words of encouragement to the lifter. "Come on, you can do it! You can do it! Push! Push!" he calls out. Those words of encouragement are just what the lifter needs to give him the strength to lift the weights.
As more and more weights are added, the bar becomes very heavy and the lifter becomes very tired. When the weight gets to be more than the lifter can handle, the spotter reaches in and helps the lifter lift the weights.
As I watched these weightlifters, it occurred to me that it was a good picture of the way our Heavenly Father helps us to bear the burdens we face in our daily life. There are some days that things seem to be pretty easy. Oh, we may struggle a little bit as we face a few obstacles along the way, but just knowing that God is with us gives us the confidence we need to overcome those obstacles.
There are some days that are more difficult and we may need more encouragement. We find that encouragement in God's Word. "Don't be afraid, I am with you." (Gen.26:24) "I'll give you strength." (Psalm 28:7) "I'm with you in times of trouble." (Psalm 34:6) These words of encouragement are just what we need to face the hard times that may come our way.
Do you ever have a day when the weight is more than you can handle? Of course you do. We all have days like that, don't we? It is good to know that when things are more than we can bear, God is there! Listen to these words that Jesus spoke, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." On those really hard days, Jesus steps in and lifts our burden. With him, our burdens are lighter.
Father, sometimes life is hard. We are thankful that you are always there to help us, to give us strength, to encourage us, and to lighten our load. Amen.
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