Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up. – Psalm 68:19
Another version of scripture says “who daily bears our burdens”. What a great picture of the Father. He doesn’t just know about our burdens and worries, He doesn’t just wait to hear about our troubles and He doesn’t sit around doing nothing until we cast our cares on Him. He actually already carries us and our burdens.
As I was thinking about these things, an image came to mind…
The Father and I were walking along together. He was carrying quite a heavy load – all of the things on His back were mine. And as all good fathers do, He was helping me along, carrying me over the distances when my feet got tired, telling me what to watch out for along the path so that I didn’t get hurt, and holding my hand to steady me. This is a very long journey we are on together and as I started to grow and recognize for myself the dangerous areas and I was able to walk a little more on my own, I started to recognize the things He was carrying.
“Here Daddy,” I said “let me carry some.” He looked down at me with a loving concern on His face and began to explain “They are heavy, Little One.”
“But, Daddy, I can do it. See how I’ve gotten better at walking by myself and I’m stronger than I used to be; besides, those are my burdens to carry. Shouldn’t I be carrying them and learning to be like you, Daddy?”
The Father tenderly, knowingly responds without a single word. He sets the pack down and carefully selects only one or two items out of the pack. Turning toward me I saw a look of great love and the concern a good father has for his child, knowing she is choosing the hard way but understanding that she will not understand his help or his great love for her, unless he allows it. Was that a tear I saw run down His face? He places the select few burdens on my back. “Wow. These are heavier than they looked on The Father’s back.” I think to myself.
The Father lifts back up His very heavy pack and we continue on walking together. The Father, as any good one does, repeatedly checks on me, looking to see if I’m ok and asking me if I need help. He returns to pointing out the dangerous parts along the way, and extending His hand to help me over the rocky places. My response is quietly continuing along without asking for and rarely accepting His outstretched hand.
After walking for quite a while over difficult terrain, I fall. This pack is so heavy! But The Father makes it look so easy! I have scrapes all over me and I’m so tired carrying these heavy burdens. I start crying and I call out “Daddy! Wait!” The Father turns and immediately returns to my side, still effortlessly carrying that huge load. He has scrapes and bruises too, in the exact same spots as me! But He’s not out of breath, He’s not tired.
Knowing full well what I’m going through and seeing how worn out I am from all of this, He still asks me, with compassion in His voice, “What’s wrong, my child?” Fighting to not break down sobbing due to the pain, fatigue, and disappointment in myself for not being able to do this, I respond “This burden – its too heavy. You were right, Daddy, I need your help.”
The Father kneels down beside me and speaking tenderly, with another tear running down His face, He asks if I really want His help. He reminds me that it was me that wanted to try to do all of this on my own and that He had been there all along the way, ready to help. There was no condemnation in His tone, just a concerned Father, just as concerned about the lesson I would learn as the scrapes and bruises I had everywhere. As He gently wiped away the dirt and blood stains and tenderly wiped my tear-stained face, He reminds me “You don’t have to be like me, Little One. Yes, you are my child and in many ways you are like me, but there will always be things I can and should do that you will not be able to do. Like all of these burdens, I carry them for you because I love you. I want you to be able to walk freely and happily enjoy the journey home together with me.”
With the burdens secured back on The Father’s shoulders, with a bright smile and a hint of compassion, knowing what His child has been through and that this lesson will be repeated again, The Father smiles and hugs me as He stands back up. Holding out His hand I place mine in His and He lifts me to my feet.
We start back on our journey home together again. “Hey! Look at that amazing flower! And what a beautiful sky!” I remarked joyfully. I hadn’t noticed those things in such a long time. “Oh! And look, Daddy! Did you see that beautiful bird fly by?” The Father looks at me again with a smile, my hand in His “Enjoy it all, Little One.”