February 11, 2008
A Journey with God
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you;
I was not looking forward to the trip. As terrible as it sounds, I would have done anything to send someone else in my place so that I didn’t have to face my mom. You see, many years ago my mother was diagnosed with an incurable disease that has affected her physically, mentally, and emotionally. It has been so painful to watch someone I love deeply waste away to nothingness and know there’s nothing I can do but pray and trust God.
The first three days of my stay were the toughest. Mom didn’t recognize me, which was extremely difficult. I kept asking her several times a day “Do you know my name?” or “Who am I?” but she would just look at me with a blank empty stare as if I wasn’t there.
I cried out to God. Please Lord, not yet! I still have so much I want to tell her. My heart was breaking. I asked Him, “How much longer are You going to let this go on? Just take her to heaven where she can be whole again. This load is much too heavy and we are all so tired and weary from the journey.”
On the fourth night after bathing my mom, brushing her teeth, and helping her get into her nightgown, I reluctantly wheeled her over to the bed. Bedtime is difficult for her due to restless sleep and bad dreams. Bedtime is always accompanied with tears. As I tucked the sheets ever so tightly around her and kissed her forehead, I was reminded of when I was a little girl and how she would do the exact same thing for me as part of my bedtime ritual. We said prayers and then ever so hesitantly I asked her once again “Mom, do you know my name?”
Slowly she looked up at me with her beautiful brown eyes and said “Of course, Leah. I know your name.” In that very moment, I was filled with indescribable joy and peace. Nothing else mattered. I didn’t care that we couldn’t go shopping anymore or that we weren’t able to have lunch with friends. It didn’t matter that she couldn’t read me those beautiful poems she had written so long ago or sit on the floor and play with my boys. She knew who I was, and that was good enough for me.
During my stay, I was challenged in countless ways, but God was so faithful and continued to assure me that everything was going to be all right. He even answered several prayers I had been requesting for months. I was also reminded of today’s verse. He wants me to cast my burdens on Him and allow Him to sustain me. He wants me to trust in Him and not to lean on my own understanding.
This is certainly not the plan I would have chosen for my mother yet through this experience I have come to realize that trials and challenges are inevitable. I must learn to expect them, submit to them and learn from them. All the while, realizing that behind each challenge I find a God who longs to pour out His love on me and to carry my burdens if I let Him.
Do you have a parent who is aging and needs your help, or a loved one who is suffering from an incurable disease? Or, are you carrying burdens that are much too heavy to bear? Perhaps you have been asking God tough questions and waiting for your prayers to be answered.
One thing I am learning is that when we ask our Heavenly Father for something, the journey He takes us on while we wait on Him is often times greater than the answered prayer itself. I hope you will let Him carry your burdens today and trust that He knows what is best for you and those you love.
Remember, you were not designed to walk this path alone. He is right by your side to strengthen and sustain you each step of the way.
Dear Lord, help me to trust in You when life doesn’t make any sense. To know that You love me unconditionally and are always there to carry my burdens. Remind me to seek you first when trials and challenges come my way and to recognize Your faithfulness and goodness throughout my journey in life.
Small Acts of Grace by Alice Gray
A Love Worth Giving, by Max Lucado
Take time to reflect on some challenges in your past and write down the ways God has shown His faithfulness to you and how your prayers were answered.
Do I really expect God to carry my burdens or am I more comfortable carrying them myself?
When challenges come my way, who do I run to for help and advice?
In what areas of my life do I trust God the least?
Psalm 68:19, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” (NIV)
Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (NIV)
Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105