Lean on God!
HAVE you ever felt anxious or overwhelmed by life's troubles? Who hasn't!When I feel this way I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a friend. We were discussing troubling social issues. Concerned about my friend's apparently cavalier attitude, I said, "Shannon, life is serious! She promptly responded, "Life isn't serious; life is a joy! The details of our conversation have long since faded. What I still remember, though, is my friend's rebuke to my unproductive anxiety. She didn't mean that there aren't serious problems facing people or that we shouldn't be concerned about them. But she was quite right that feeling burdened doesn't help anybody. Christ Jesus often confronted distressing circumstances. Then, as now, corruption, lack, physical and mental illness, took their toll. The Bible records how the sick in search of healing were laid in the streets at Jesus' feet. Yet to those who felt burdened and worn down with the cares of the world Jesus said, as Matthew's Gospel records: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me . . . . For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Jesus knew that Christ, the spiritual idea of God, which he exemplified, represents man's true selfhood as God's child. His perception of this spiritual fact healed disease, restored sight and hearing, and lifted individuals out of immoral lifestyles. It's not simply human ability or well-intentioned sympathy but God's all-powerful love that moves mountains of poverty and disease. Jesus could speak of an "easy yoke and a "light burden because, in everything he said and did, he turned unreservedly to the Father, God, embracing all humanity in his prayers. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was herself healed of critical injuries and chronic illness when she grasped the spiritual significance of the Master's teachings. Later she founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, to reestablish Christianity's healing mission. In her Miscellaneous Writings she tells her students of her gratitude that they are bringing relief to the sick and joy to the sufferer. And she comments: "With all the homage beneath the skies, yet were our bu rdens heavy but for the Christ-love that makes them light and renders the yoke easy. Turning her readers to God, she counsels, "Always bear in mind that His presence, power, and peace meet all human needs and reflect all bliss. I began to see the practical effect of what it means to respond to the love of Christ and lean on God. I felt quite ill one day. When the symptoms persisted, I went to lie down. Reaching out to God in prayer, I thought about a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal that urges us to cast our burdens on God. As I prayed I remembered a telephone conversation I'd had a few days earlier. The troubles the individual had told me about were still weighing heavily on me. I saw that while I couldn't personally resolve this person's difficulties, I could turn my anxious concern over to God, trusting Him to guide both of us. In that moment of peaceful yielding to God's care, I found myself entirely well. I was able to return to work freely. I didn't have an occasion to talk with this individual for some time. Bu t later I was able to express toward him something of what I am learning about God's all-inclusive love. Every individual who yearns to do so can help lift the weight of care from another's heart. We need always to realize, though, that it's God alone who inspires and heals. But as we're earnest about drawing close to Him, we can express more of the spiritual joy that opens each one's heart to Christ's healing love. Then we can find that the task of lifting burdens is easy and light.