“Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Everyone, in this life, carries a burden on his/her shoulders, and a beam in the eye. These come with the territory. Since the Fall this earthly kingdom still has its advantages, but it also has its difficulties, its trails, its tribulation. Did God know about this ahead of time? Did he know that Adam would need a place to rest, and food to survive on this planet? He prepared these ahead of time; He created all things that man would need before He created man “in His own image.” He knew what He wanted, here on earth, for His people. He knew what they would need.
We each carry the burdens of fallen humanity, either our own or those of others. God, our heavenly Father, planned for this too—a place to unload; a person who would carry this burden with us and get us through this wilderness. He came, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, to make Himself known to us; to draw us to Him; to take the load—the burden and guilt and power—of sin “off.” We still carry other burdens—our own and of others we love—but not alone. People will say to me, “I don’t want to burden you with my problems.” Sometimes they want to carry them alone. It may be that they don’t know how to unload; or, they don’t know how to express what they are experiencing. We bring the burdens of others to the Lord and we rest these on Him. I have no power to bring rest to others, but He does. I can intercede fervently, and encourage with the truths of God’s promises.
While Jesus is the only one who can take the burden of sin away, and the one we should come to first with our problems, He has provided sisters and brothers in Christ within the body of Christ, His Church. We are together as a body—each of us members of the same body—strong enough in Christ, to “bear one another’s burdens.”
Beams “First, take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5
How many times have you tried this? The log has been there since our birth. It is lodged; it is a part of us; and it prevents us from seeing clearly. Christ is the only one who can dislodge the beam and remove it. Why did He not say, “Let me take the beam out of your eye, then you can take the sliver out of someone else’s eye?” Was it so that we would come to the conclusion that it is impossible for us; so that we all have to come to Him. We are blind from birth. Only a new birth—of His Spirit—will give us eyes to see clearly. “In Christ”—through His eyes—we see others as He wants us to see. He has made provision through His body—the church—for us to bring others to Him, to His Word. We come alongside our brethren-in-Christ as “light” for their darkness. We accept the guidance of others who would, lovingly, as pastors and brothers and sisters, see something we cannot see about ourselves, desiring the continual work of cleansing and sanctification—the working of His grace, and preparation for His glory. (Ephesians 5:26)
Father, draw us by the power of your own Spirit to Jesus, our Lord. Lord Jesus, by your two-edged sword pierce our hearts, cut out and remove those things that keep us from seeing you. Enable us to see you and others in the light of your grace. Amen