February 24, 2014
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
We all carry burdens. There are big burdens, little burdens, frightening and dangerous burdens.
Case in point: during the Cold War in Europe there were special troops who carried the B54 Special Atomic Demolition Munition. What, you've never heard of the B54 Special Atomic Demolition Munition (henceforth known in this devotion as the B54)? Well, until the Smithsonian shared the story, I hadn't either. So, let me explain:
The B54 was a backpack-sized atomic device designed to blow up bridges, roads, passes and any place where a small nuclear device might make it harder for the enemy to advance.
The B54 was a really nifty toy. But it was a toy that had a problem. The timer which set off the nuclear explosion on the B54 wasn't terribly dependable. That meant the soldier working with the B54 had two choices: he could stay and make sure the bomb went off at the right time, or he could set the timer and run like crazy. If he opted for the second course of action, while he ran he had to pray for two things: first, he had to pray the B54 wouldn't go off early and second, he had to pray the B54 actually went off.
So, now that you know the history, let me ask, does the idea of a soldier carrying a portable nuclear device make your burden feel any smaller, lighter, or more comfortable?
No? I didn't think it would.
That's because all our burdens are very personal and very specific to us. The burdens we carry come from sins committed, opportunities missed, expressions of love not given. They can stem from slights we have received, forgiveness withheld, and a heart that is darkened by envy and sinful longings. No, our burdens may not have the ability to bring down a bridge or close up a mountain pass, but they do have the ability of making our lives miserable and filled with sorrow, sadness and melancholy.
Thankfully there is a solution, a remedy to the burdens we carry: we can cast those anxieties before the Lord and know He will take care of them. As Jesus said, all who labor and are heavy laden can come to Him and find rest (see Matthew 11:28).
No matter how it is said, the Lord promises assistance and help to all of His people who come to Him in faith. The same Savior who died to take away our sins can remove our burdens or make them possible to carry. And if you have any doubts this is so, talk to Peter who denied Jesus the night Jesus was arrested, or Paul who had been involved in persecuting believers, or the disciples who had deserted Jesus in the Garden.
They all found out, as we should, that the crucified and risen Redeemer cares enough to help us with our burdens.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are all kinds of burdens that cause me problems. In Your love take them from me or make it possible for me to carry them. This I ask in the Name of the Savior who carried the burden of all my sin. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries