Shepherd’s  Heart

Bear one another’s burdens, Galatians 6:2

I want to open this shepherd’s heart with a parable I heard years ago. I cannot give the author credit since I don’t know who wrote it. I also took a couple liberties to help illustrate the point  as well.
Sadhu Sundar Singh, a Hindu convert to Christianity, became a missionary to his people in India. Late one afternoon Sadhu was traveling on foot through the Himalayas with a Buddhist monk. It was bitterly cold and the wind felt like sharp blades slicing into their skins. Night was fast approaching when the monk warned Sadhu that they were in danger of freezing to death if they did not reach the monastery before darkness fell. Suddenly, on a narrow path above a steep precipice, they heard a cry for help. At the foot of the cliff lay a man, fallen and badly hurt. The monk looked at Sadhu and said, "Do not stop. God has brought this man to his fate. He must work it out for himself. Let us hurry on before we, too, perish." But Sadhu replied, "God has sent me here to help my brother. I cannot abandon him."
The monk trudged off through the whirling snow, while the missionary clambered down the steep embankment. The injured man's leg was broken, and he could not walk, so Sadhu made a sling of his blanket and tied the man to his back. With great difficulty he climbed back up the cliff, drenched by now in perspiration. Doggedly, Sadhu made his way through the deepening snow and darkness, pouring out all his sweat and energy carrying the burden now affixed to his back. It was all he could do to follow the path. But he persevered, though faint with fatigue and overheated from exertion. Finally, drained to the core and exhausted to his bones, he saw ahead the lights of the monastery. Sadhu was overcome with relief but then, for the first time, he stumbled and nearly fell. But not from weakness. He had stumbled over an object lying in the snow-covered road. Slowly he bent down on one knee and brushed away the snow. It was the body of the monk, frozen to death. Years later a disciple of Sadhu's asked him, "What is life's most difficult task?" Without hesitation Sadhu replied: "To have no burden to carry.”
How many times have you been frustrated by your circumstances, thinking you were being held back in some way? Whether from family obligations or personal struggles, I imagine many of us wrestle against the real temptation to think our burdens are obstacles to the plan of God. Considering the story above, maybe it’s better to think of our burdens as blessings. Those with little or nothing to “weigh them down” easily grow cold and freeze over. Working, wrestling, and sweating through the challenges of life keep us warm in the fire of grace.  
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong, 2 Corinthians 12:10

Pastor John 

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