It was mile eleven and my jogging pace had slipped to a slow crawl.  The twelve mile race would not have been that hard had not the sergeant put sand in my back pack.   I was qualifying to wear a special badge or flash on my military beret.   Part of the qualification was completing a 12 mile march through various terrain in full battle gear plus 65lbs of equipment on your back.  To my chagrin, sand was added for good measure to ensure the weight of the pack.

Have you ever felt weighted down by life?  Perhaps you are carrying a load of care that you were never meant to?  Some are burdened with the trials of life caused by poor decisions and others are having to face consequences of someone else’s actions.  Regardless, carrying an emotional or psychological load can have terrible effects upon on our well-being to include disrupting our relationships at work, in the home and with our friends.  Sadly, for many, unlike the race I was in, there is no finish line in site to release the weight.

A recent study from the CDC found that the third most common prescription drugs taken by people between the ages of 18 and 44 are for treating depression and anxiety.  Obviously there are many who have been holding up under difficult burdens for so long that hopelessness and misery becomes their only companions.

As I crossed the finish line I was elated because I knew I could get rid of that heavy sack.  As the weight fell from my back I was happily greeted with a cool sensation afforded to me by my perspiration soaked shirt.  Having the burden removed I was able to walk with my shoulders square and upright free from a weight that stretched my back to the limits.  I felt as if I was walking on the moon with Neil Armstrong…as if gravity no longer held me in such a tight grip.  It is a sensation of lightness that I shall not forget.

Similarly, when we turn to Jesus and allow him to carry our burdens we can experience that same light feeling as if a load was taken from off our backs.  Many would scoff saying it’s just a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo….  Is it? …. Have you tried taking your cares to the one who created you, loves you, and wants to help you?  Jesus wants to break the bonds that enslave you and cause you to work so hard just to get by. What are you waiting for?   Turn it over to someone who can handle the load?  The old hymn by John M. More is fitting here “burdens are lifted at Calvary, Calvary, Calvary, Jesus completely saves.”  Don’t miss out on having your burden taken away.

And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. Leviticus 26:13