You weren’t designed to carry this

Kelsey Rodriguez  |  March 28, 2018

February was a hard month to go through for us New Englanders. We were all vitamin D deficient and cold. It's in this season that most of us feel as though we are in the valley. But you don't have to be a grumpy New Englander to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Follow Jesus for any amount of time, and the valley will come. It's in the lowland that you have a better view of what it is that is surrounding you, that you just don't notice when you are on the peaks.

In the valley, you see the dirt and the rubble. You see the mess. Specifically, you see your mess clearly. It's in the low places, that you are more aware of your weakness, exhaustion, and burden. Let's be real, it's often more than just one. Burdens*
Isn't it strange that we run our lives in a way that reflect the belief that our burdens are solely ours to bear? Why is it that we cast our burdens on things that cannot carry that weight?

We are forgetful creatures. We all have identity issues. We all have other things besides God that we turn to for our sense of worth, security, and happiness. So often, these are good things that we turn into ultimate things. The Bible calls them "idols". 

So what's the big deal? At least, I'm getting by. I get my fill from things here and there.

The big deal is that Isaiah 46 calls our idols "dead weight, burdens that cannot bear burdens" They are life-sucking. They leave us drained because they have an unquenchable thirst for more and we simply cannot deliver. They themselves are burdens that cannot satisfy. We feel as though we can control our idols, but really our idols are controlling us.

So what are the things that you are turning to for your worth, security and peace of mind? Do you feel like life only has meaning if you are highly productive and getting a lot done? Or do you feel it most when your parents are happy with you? How about being in love with Mr. or Ms. "Right"? Do you daydream about having the approval of your peers, family, professors, bosses, etc? What about when you have things under control?

Why do we do continue to pursue our idols even when we are aware that they drain us?

We're control freaks. We inherited it from Adam. Adam wanted to be his own god, and we struggle with that same complex. This does not come as a surprise to God, in Isaiah 46 He calls us out on how foolish it is that we do this.

6b. "Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
then they fall down and worship!
7. They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
they set it in its place, and it stands there;
it cannot move from its place.
If one cries to it, it does not answer
or save him from his trouble."

In other words; there your idol sits, day in and day out, a "dependable god", always right where you want it. Convenient? You bet. Say anything you want to it, it never talks back. Because it can't.  And of course, it never does anything either!

God does not point out our idols and then laugh as He waltzes away. No, He does much more than that. In mercy and compassion, He draws near to Babylon (and to us). He knows that we are forgetful creatures, so first He reminds us of whose we are, but more potently He reminds us of who He is. 

8 “Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
9remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet are done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’

There is a weight to Him that cannot be moved. A weight of Glory that is able to carry all our burdens. He is incomparable and irreplaceable. He is Holy and Righteous. He promises us that He is in this for the long haul. He will do exactly what He has set out to do. He has been carrying us and will continue to do so until we are old and gray. 

God has said it, and He will most certainly do it. He has planned it, so it's a good as done. And in fact, it is done.
In the last section of Isaiah 46, He lays out exactly what He is going to do and how He is going to do it.

12 “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
you who are far from righteousness:
13 I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
and my salvation will not delay;
I will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.”

We, who are far from righteousness, are far from our Creator who is Righteousness and is Holiness. In verse 13, God promises that He will unite us unto Himself in salvation. But God entering into the presence of a stubborn people screams for our need of a Redeemer. We desperately need someone to intercede for us.

Who better qualified for the job than God Himself?
That ought to strike our hearts with fear, especially after God lays out that He is Holy and Righteous. And that my friends are the absolute beauty, and bewilderment of Jesus Christ. He is 'Immanuel' literally meaning "God with us". God is going to dwell with His people in the form of a man named Jesus. And that my friends are good news. He is the One that intercedes for us on our behalf. He is not a control freak, which I think a lot of us need to hear. He is in control, but He doesn't get worked into a tizzy like we do.  He is okay with the mess, our mess. He is perfectly gentle and patient. He is the only One that is qualified, capable, and long-suffering to carry our burdens that cannot bear burdens. 

I can't help but think of a song called "Lay it all down" by Will Reagan, United Pursuit to capture our need for a Redeemer so greatly. 

"Bring your worry, grief, and pain 
Every cause you have for shame 
lay it all down, lay it all down
When your cares have buried you
and there’s nothing left to do
lay it all down lay it all down
at the feet of Jesus, at the feet of Jesus

Carried on but your heart was tired
Feared the worst and felt the fire
lay it all down, lay it all down
Filled with all those anxious thoughts
all your doubts became your god
lay it all down, lay it all down
at the feet of Jesus, at the feet of Jesus"

You weren't designed to carry this, that's why God sent His Son.

Lay it all down at the feet of Jesus. 

Kelsey is currently an intern serving at the University of Vermont. 

Isaiah 46- ESV
Isaiah 46- The Message
Lay It All Down- Will Reagan, United Pursuit