Saturday, August 23, 2014

Shifting the weight

Trust is something we all struggle with on occasion - if not in our closest relationships, perhaps in trusting God in our moments of confusion, chaos, and calamity.  The biggest calamity, mounting chaos, and chasm of confusion make it harder and harder to trust God if we haven't learn to trust him in the times when things are going rather "well" in our lives.  Trust is reliance - it stands to reason that reliance is learned when you most need to "lean" or "place your weight upon" something or someone, right?  Why is it then that we find it so hard to learn trust in the times of calamity, chaos, and confusion?  These should be times we actually take steps of faith - leaning into God a little more, allowing him to prove himself "trust-worthy".  Trust in God means we have come to count upon the strength of another - something outside of ourselves and our own ability.  It means we lean into and upon the integrity of God - that he will do as he says.  Maybe the really hard thing about trust is this "shift of weight" which is implied - the movement of our center of "grounding" to a different location than us!  We are placing our "weight" upon him - allowing him to bear the load we are under.

My help and glory are in God—granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—so trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him.  God is a safe place to be.  Man as such is smoke, woman as such, a mirage. Put them together, they’re nothing; two times nothing is nothing.  And a windfall, if it comes—don’t make too much of it.  God said this once and for all; how many times have I heard it repeated?  “Strength comes straight from God.”  (Psalm 62:7-11 MSG)

The promise of help comes not in reliance upon our own ability to bear up under the weight, but in our willingness to shift the weight to another (God). Our help and glory are in God - in other words, God saves and he brings honor. It isn't "upon us" to save ourselves or bring honor to our lives!  The plea to us is to trust him "absolutely" - laying our lives on the line for him.  The real crux of this is in our willingness to share our needs with God - to not feel like we have to hold onto them until we reach the place we don't think there is any hope in us finding a way to solve the issues on our own!  We are kind of fickle that way, aren't we?  We hold onto stuff which weighs us down until we are almost consumed by the weight of whatever it is - all the while trying to find a way to deal with whatever it is in our own strength and ability.  What God expects is a "shifting of the weight" onto him - we are never asked to "bear up" under the load of "demands" life puts upon us!  When we make this "shift of weight", we aren't admitting we are "weak" or "incapable" - we are simply being obedient!  We are actually revealing that we know how to handle life's challenges in the best way possible!  

Another word for trust is reliance - we come to rely upon certain way of doing things, don't we?  In fact, if someone were to observe us for a few days, they would probably be able to point out to us some "routines" we observe without even knowing we do it.  Such things as brushing our teeth before we enter the shower, or putting on our make-up before we do the final touches on our hair. Shoes go on just prior to leaving for the day and may come off as the first thing we do when we come back into the house.  These are our ways of doing things which have become habit, or routines upon which we rely upon to get us from one point to another.  This morning I turned on the computer as usual, expecting the modem/router to make the connection to the internet automatically.  Imagine my moment of "sheesh!" when it didn't!  I rely upon it to work as it should!  It is a new one, after all!  I had to go through the "reset" process simply because what I relied upon didn't work out the way I expected it to in the end!

We go through a whole lot of "resets" in this life simply because we have come to rely upon "unreliable" things.  They may be things we do out of habit, simply because we have come to "trust" them as a means to accomplish what needs to be accomplished.  I have to ask - does it work each and every time and is it the best means of accomplishing it?  Maybe not!  Yet, we have this philosophy of operation in life which goes something like, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".  It may be that we don't realize it is really a "broken" process, though!  It gives us the illusion of working out, but is it the best outcome? It may not be!  When we bear any weight which we are asked to clearly place on the shoulders of Jesus - we are bearing up under, but we are not being obedient!  This will mean there will be other weights which will come and eventually we will have to go through a form of "reset" in order to get out from under the mounting pressures!

If we take anything away from our passage today, it should be this:  God wants to take the weight of our lives squarely upon his shoulders.  Nothing short of this is what he intends for our lives.  Just sayin!

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