, Muskogee, OK

February 27, 2013

Fort Faith: Jesus wants your burdens

— By Barrett Vanlandingham

By the time you read this, Lord willing, I will have already sung at an elderly friend’s funeral on Wednesday, gone through a colonoscopy Thursday, gotten the results, recovered, reported for jury duty Friday morning, and attended a weekend youth rally in Arkansas!

Yes I know that’s a lot to cram into the second half of my week, but I am not going to complain, considering I talk to people every week who have it much worse.

I have written many articles and lessons on the topics of worry, stress, fear, and giving it over to God. But at this moment I find myself guilty of not approaching any of these topics the right way in my personal life. Please forgive me if you think this makes me a hypocrite? Hopefully, it makes me human.

Fear of the unknown is something we all have to deal with. Even Jesus, though He was God in the flesh, was only made perfect through suffering (Heb. 2:10). He not only understands us better because of His suffering, but His acts of self-sacrifice also satisfy our human need to feel that Jesus has been in our shoes.

Certainly, Jesus could have used His supernatural ability to empathize with us. But He knew we would view that as taking the easy way out. So, He was tempted in every way, and in His weakest moment even pleaded with His Father to change His mind about the cross.

Jesus wanted mankind to know without a doubt that He was sincere in His love for us. He wanted us to be confident He understands our struggles enough to show us mercy (Hebrews 4:15-16). His life here on earth was the ultimate act of compassion, and simply put, He doesn’t want us to worry, period! (Matthew 6:25-34)  He simply wants us to be compelled enough by His love to choose Him (2 Corinthians 5:14). Jesus will do the rest.

The apostle Paul said it well when he compared our earthly body to a temporary tent that we will eventually exchange for a heavenly dwelling (2 Cor. 5:1-5). I appreciate mature Christians who not only understand that this world is not our home, but our bodies are not ours to keep. They are only a tool to do the Lord’s work for a short while (Matt. 28:18-20).

May God bless us all with peace as we strive to unload our burdens at the feet of Jesus (Matt. 11:28), who promises to give us rest in our time of need. Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or