Thursday’s Column: Carlnormous Comments
Poem inspired by this beautiful new song by Jeff Wiant, member at Bear Valley. Click on the link below to hear it:
We struggle and strain to carry our load
We buckle as it gets heavier on our backs
We fall and hurt on this rough, rocky road
The weight makes us stop in our tracks
Looking around with a face full of pleading
We wonder who is observing our pain
We’re wounded, weary, broken and bleeding
Set to surrender from the stress and strain
Tears flow freely, we have been here before
We know how the journey seems endless
Certain we can’t make it alone to the door
We feel solitude, helpless and friendless
It’s bigger than us, crushing and enormous
And the contents shameful and unsightly
We’ve borne it so long it’s begun to conform us
To a stooped struggler holding on tightly
A voice calling gently, “Bring it over to Me,
I can help you and give you My best,
Your burden is heavy, I know you are weary,
Come to Me and I will give you rest.”
Could you double down, wincing and worn,
Grit your teeth and ignore His free aid?
Eventually, it will bury you after making you mourn
You know an exorbitant price must be paid.
He is able and willing, but waiting for you
To seek what He offers you without reservation
Let Him do for you what only He can do
Give your burdens to Christ with no hesitation.
Think of the journey, partnered with One
Without limits in power, purity and pity
Who’ll stay with you until your journey is done
As together you arrive at His heavenly city.
Mark and Derek Noel have an incredible story. Mark, the dad, thinks he weighed 460 pounds at his heaviest, though he couldn’t find scales that could weigh him. He talks about the depression, the shame, even the claustrophobia of being that size. He learned that he had a food addiction. Today, he weighs 220 pounds and his son has also lost an incredible amount of weight. There’s still a mental struggle there, but through food journaling, exercise, and, above all, a desire to live, Mark is winning that battle (Megan Messerly, Las Vegas Sun, 10/19/15).
There are a great many people who can relate to the struggle and some who know the success of a story like theirs. A lot of people have eaten themselves into such a state of being, and most people struggle with self-control and wise decisions concerning food especially where it is abundant and easily accessible. I imagine few of those who get themselves into such a state are happy with the results.
There is something weighing on people in a far greater way than this, though. It can happen in the midst of drought and famine. It is not exclusively a “first-world problem.” Sin is a universal burden (Rom. 3:23). The writer of Hebrews even describes it this way. He says, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us” (Heb. 12:1). David wrote, “For my iniquities have gone over my head; Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (Psa. 38:4).
Sometimes, when people are discussing the sin struggles they are coping with, they say, “I just feel weighed down.” They are describing the effects of guilt and unhappiness, a disappointment and self-loathing produced by a conscience all too aware of the persistent reality of sin. But, instead of addressing the problem, too many try to work it out on their own and never leave the vicious cycle of serving sin. Paul says the ultimate outcome of this approach is death (Rom. 6:23; cf. Jas. 1:15). What can you do when you feel weighed down?
It’s very possible that you find yourself weighed down. What good reason can you give for staying in that condition? Wouldn’t you rather lose the weight? I know you’ll feel better if you do!
Perhaps you have heard about the unusual confession Matthew Cordle made on a website called “Because I Said I Would,” a video that went then went viral on the internet. This will provide the prosecution ironclad evidence to convict him of a drunk driving accident in which he killed 61-year-old Vincent Canzani back in June. His lawyer explained that Cordle confessed to the June killing because he is “riddled with guilt” and on the video, designed to deter others from drinking and driving, he says, “You can still be saved. Your victims can still be saved” (Erin Donaghue, www.cbsnews.com).
In Psalm 38, David depicts the heavy weight of guilt brought on by sin. He describes the physical effects he felt because of his spiritual transgressions. He likens it to physical assault (1-2), sickness (3), drowning (4a), a too-heavy-burden (4b), wounds (5), dilapidation (8), and readiness to fall (17). Words like “mourning” (6), “turmoil” (8), “pants” (10), “sorrow” (17), and “anguish” (18) punctuate the Psalm. While some so harden their heart to sin that they can seemingly move forward with no qualms or pangs of guilt, the Bible describes the nagging, constant, and unceasing tug of guilt that accompanies wrongdoing. As David reflected on his sin with Bathsheba and the horrible things he did to cover it up, he would write, “My sin is always before me” (Ps. 51:3). Most people are like David. What they do with that guilt may differ, but God wants that guilt to produce “diligence,” clearing of self, “vindication,” and similar, godly responses in people’s hearts rather than to produce death (cf. 2 Cor. 7:10-11). How fruitful and tragic to feel the weight of sin’s guilt but never apply God’s remedy to get rid of it!
The fact is that all of us are guilty of sin (Rom. 3:23) and deserve a sentence of eternal condemnation, but we can escape the consequences of our guilt by obedience to Christ (cf. Heb. 5:9). The net effect of that can be the profound peace that accompanies forgiveness. Too many are held hostage by their sins when freedom and escape are readily available. We cannot measure or quantify the weight of guilt upon a pair of scales, but we know it is real and burdensome. Jesus calls us to come to Him and He will unburden us (Mat. 11:28-30).