PEOPLE feel burdened by many things: children; work; financial commitments; family relationships; church and civic duties. But these can all be blessings, not burdens!
I didn't always feel this way. But the message of Christ Jesus drastically altered my outlook. In my case, the burden seemed to arise from the intersection of my career with my children. Earlier, I had willingly assumed responsibility for caring for my two young children. At the same time, though, I initiated work in a new profession from a home office.
I loved my children, but as activity increased in my new profession, I found a tension growing in trying to balance the two. I must admit, the children sometimes felt like a burden at that point. As I had done for many years, I looked to my Bible for answers. I thought about what Christ Jesus meant when he urged: ``Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; . . . and ye shall find rest unto your souls'' (Matthew 11:28, 29).
Such a promise! But I couldn't help noticing the demand in what Jesus said--``Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.'' It made me see that to unload the burden I felt, I needed to learn something vital about my own relationship to God.
Then--and I mean right then--I understood, as clearly as if a voice spoke to me saying, ``Your children are a part of your work. They are not working against you, they are helping you!'' And so it was. My work included lots of time spent in telephone calls. Before, it had seemed as though I often had my little one tugging at my waist during important phone conversations. Now that wasn't happening. Never again did I feel a conflict.
God does help us--that's certain. And He is not arbitrary or laggard in His help. He does not wait until we feel overly burdened and then act. God is divine Love and loves each of His children. His love acts as divine law, which cannot be put aside. This law of love works on behalf of good for all of us.
God is always embracing us in His love. But we have our part. We must turn to Him, turn to the goodness that is His nature and work to more fully embrace that goodness in our own lives.
The Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy, says of God in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``His work is done, and we have only to avail ourselves of God's rule in order to receive His blessing, which enables us to work out our own salvation'' (p. 3).
Availing ourselves of ``God's rule,'' however, may well include learning anew what God is, what His nature includes. We need to discard each misconception of God. Then we need to understand ourselves as made in God's image--in the image of His love, reflecting His goodness. This self-understanding must be lived out in our daily lives. It affects us deeply and transforms us from the inside out.
Elsewhere in Science and Health Mrs. Eddy points out, ``The world could not interpret aright the discomfort which Jesus inspired and the spiritual blessings which might flow from such discomfort'' (p. 53). The discomfort that turns us to God in prayer is temporary, and prayer leads us to the joy of gaining a victory over ourselves. God's love is always at work in our lives. We can never be separated from His goodness.
We may think we are not happy at times. But if we persist in a correct, spiritual view of our purpose and activity, happiness will surely follow. The burden will evaporate and blessing follow.