There are some days where you feel so defeated and tired that you just don’t want to get out of bed. If you’re like me, you start to pray and ask Jesus to give you a gift of strength to tackle the tasks and relationships that will be the great challenges.
There is a famous poem entitled “Footprints In The Sand” that talks about walking down a beach and realizing that in the most difficult times in our life, looking back, there are only one set of footprints in the sand. It brings to mind the question, “Why did you leave me Jesus in those times I needed you the most?” Jesus replies, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
This week my heart has been so heavy and I am grieving. In this season, I have felt alone at times and under the weight of life changing decisions with limited natural strength.
Yesterday I was reading about my 24th great grandfather, William Marshal, who lived in the 1100’s in England, Wales and Ireland. He served four different kings, Henry II, John, Richard the Lionheart, and finally Henry III. During William’s eulogy, The Archbishop of Canterbury called him the “greatest knight who had ever lived.” He was a statesman, a warrior, a leader, and most importantly a father of 10 children. Though William was a strong nobleman, he realized the importance of serving others, and doing what a father would do to help others.
When Henry III was crowned king at age nine, William was chosen to act as regent and rule in Henry’s place until he was of age to take the throne. Upon being granted this weighty responsibility William Marshal said,
“If all the world deserted the young boy, except me, do you know what I would do? I would carry him on my shoulders and walk with him thus…and never let him down from island to island from land to land.”
William Marshal walked in that role as father, protector and burden bearer until Henry could rule the kingdom on his own. Galatians 6:2 tells us, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” The law of Christ is the commandment to love one another. The Marshal was willing to carry this young boy on his shoulders if necessary, he knew that was what the law of chivalry required and what love looks like.
If you are struggling today under heavy burdens, you are not alone. It is so important to let others know what your struggle is, so others can help carry you through times of pain. When we walk in community in this way, the Lord begins to strengthen, heal and enliven our wounded and broken hearts again.
So, be vulnerable and share with others, and be a listening ear and a loving contact for others who need you to help bear their burdens in love.
- Andrew Burchett