Tuesday, March 6, 2018

To Each His Own

"Aaron and his sons shall go in and appoint them each to his own task and to his own burden."  —Numbers 4: 19 

Those who served in and around the Tent of Meeting were assigned a burden to bear: a special packet of poles, pegs, fixtures or furnishings to carry when the tent was moved from place to place. Some burdens were light; some were heavy. "To each his own burden." 

Paul may have had this text in mind when he wrote, "every man must bear his own burden" (Galatians 6:5). 

Paul, in another place, says we must "bear one another's burdens," and thus fulfill the Law of Love (Galatians 6:2) and that we must do for one another. But some burdens we alone must carry. Some of the Levites "were charged with the service of the holy things that have to be carried on their shoulders" (Numbers 7:9). Such burdens are our lot, our own "holy thing" to bear. 

There is the crushing weight of protracted elder-care, a long-term physical or emotional illness, a difficult marriage, a lonely outpost, a hostile work place—to each his own. 

But you’re not alone. You can, as Israel's poet put it,  "cast your burden on the LORD" and “He will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). God does not promise to take your burden away, but He will "sanctify to you your deepest distress" (make your burden a holy thing) and give you strength to carry on. 

So may you pray each morning with old John Baille:

Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others. 
Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens.
Give me a believing heart to cast all my burdens upon Thee.   

David Roper

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