`My burden is light'

DO you sometimes feel weighed down with problems? You don't need to be discouraged. When Christ Jesus preached to the multitudes that followed him, he had great compassion on the burdened and despairing among them. ``Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,'' he told them, ``and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.'' 1

Through Christian Science we come to realize that despite all evidence to the contrary, the natural state of man is not one of burden and despair but of joy and spiritual harmony. To experience more of this natural state we need to change our thinking radically and rise out of materialism to the spirituality of our true being, which the Bible tells us is God's very likeness.

But how? you may be saying. If one is sick and discouraged, isn't it naive to think of just ``rising above'' these very real troubles?

Not when we spiritually understand what is real and sternly refute what isn't.

Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is within us.2 In a very real sense, then, we have all the good we need, every moment. Sickness, lack, false responsibility --whatever is unlike God--have no place in His kingdom, no place in our true consciousness of life as God's image. As we come to feel this truth through prayer, and steadfastly refuse to step down from this spiritually elevated consciousness, we find that burdens are lifted. When we're conscious that all space is filled with God, with His infinite goodness, there is simply no room for discord.

I once had occasion to prove this when I was suddenly faced with what seemed an insupportable burden. With no prior warning, both my sons quit college. As a single parent I felt wholly responsible, overwhelmed. How had I failed them? What should I do?

As it happened, the subject of the Bible Lesson for that week, outlined in the Christian Science Quarterly, was ``Christ Jesus.'' And one of the citations from the Bible was the verse quoted earlier where Jesus urges the multitude to come unto him, learn from him; to take his yoke upon them. Then he lovingly assures them that ``my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.''

Included in the Sunday service at the branch Church of Christ, Scientist, I attended that week was a hymn by Mary Baker Eddy3 that seemed to speak especially to me. Part of it goes, ``Then His unveiled, sweet mercies show / Life's burdens light.'' Further along are these comforting words:

And o'er earth's troubled, angry sea

I see Christ walk, And come to me, and tenderly,

Divinely talk.4

As we sang this hymn, despair and concern and a false feeling of responsibility for my sons' actions, began to melt away. And by the time we all joined in the closing hymn that Sunday I was free.

I left that church service singing, uplifted, and joyously grateful. I could trust my sons to God--their Father and mine. The burden of self-doubt and false responsibility gave way to the sure conviction of God's loving care for them and His always present guidance in their lives.

And He didn't fail me. The boys' education was later resumed in ways that could not have been foreseen, and the wisdom of their taking a respite from college at that time was clearly apparent.

God is All. And He loves His children. When we accept His love and yield humbly to His Christ and to the spiritual reality of man, we find that what have seemed heavy burdens, perhaps weighing us down for a long, discouraging time, give way to the mantle of Christliness. Then our hearts are lifted up in the realization that indeed ``my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.''

1 Matthew 11:28-30. 2 See Luke 17:21. 3 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 4 Christian Science Hymnal, No. 253.

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