I don’t know about you, but I’m a little stressed. In addition to our usual weekly commitments and doing school, Upward Basketball practices start this week. The kids are super-excited with this development.
Also, we have to make appearances at a couple of Karl’s office Christmas parties. These little events always pull me out of my comfort zone as they aren’t at all like the Sunday School Christmas parties I’m used to. Wednesday evening is the night for his department party, which is being hosted by a co-worker. I have been promised a rousing game of “Dirty Santa.” It should be fun. Thursday night, however, is at a local bar and is for the entire company. In the past, Karl has gone to this one without me. It’s one of those situations when everyone will notice if you’re not there. At the very least, let the CEO see you, right? This year I am going with him. He has even signed us up to participate in the darts tournament. Believe me, I’m not stressed about that. I anticipate our quick elimination. We don’t play darts! I can’t even recall the last time I held a dart. I just hope our destruction comes with minimal embarrassment. If not, then I plan on participating in the karaoke.
We still haven’t accomplished much in the way of Christmas shopping and decorating, either. I hope to give my kids something this year other than the memory of “the year we didn’t have a tree.” Although, I think it would be awesome to celebrate Christmas without all the typical trappings that we claim detract from the real meaning of Christmas. I have 14 days to make Christmas what we’ve trained our children to believe it is all about.
Where was I? Oh, I have a busy week ahead of me so I’m casting my cares. Seriously, I have cares that will never see the light’o’day on this blog. I will share, however, what is helping me.
I am reading Pierced by the Word this month, and this is the title of yesterday’s reading: “Going Deep with God by Having Him Carry Our Loads.”
I’ve read more than my fair share of books about “going deep” with God and nary a one ever mentioned that I could go deeper by having him carry my loads. Most of them focus on types of prayers, hand positions, speaking in tongues, various spiritual exercises, and ways to read the Bible. Piper writes,
One of the reasons we don’t know God deeply is that we don’t venture much on His pledge to carry things for us. Knowing God with a sense of authentic personal reality is not merely a matter of study. It is a matter of walking with Him through fire and not being burned. It is a matter of not being crushed under a load because He carries it for you at your side. What, then, does He carry?
God has carried our sins
By his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11
Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many. Hebrews 9:28
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree. 1 Peter 2:24
God pledges to carry our anxieties
Cast all you anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
Even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save. Isaiah 46:4
For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Romans 14:7-9
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25
God pledges to carry our burdens
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot. Psalm 16:5
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:8
God pledges to carry the cause of justice for us
When he was reviled, [Jesus] did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued handing over to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:23
“Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19
God pledges to carry you–all your life
Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;
even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save. Isaiah 46:3-4
You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Exodus 19:4
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great. Psalm 18:35
When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. Psalm 94:18
Piper has a lot to say between the verses, I just wanted to focus on the Scriptures in this post. God’s promises for us are amazing!
Piper closes with this prayer: