I sit alone in the darkness on a mattress with no sheet, no blanket – and pull the mosquito net down around me. We are still living in the boys quarters for a couple more weeks most likely, while our main house is painted. I had left my room and the 9 beautiful people in there with me sleeping soundly to move to another room…for one purpose: to cry my soul out before my Jesus. the events of the day weighing upon my heart. And I didn’t want to weep my heart out and wake the babies.
Sometimes people think it might be easy living here…doing this life. Being mother to 6 children under the age of 3; running a household in a foreign country; being the sole provider for so many people – having their lives depending on me for absolutely everything; not knowing many people, but more than that – not having many people really know me. It is not easy. It is very difficult at times.
But oh, it is so, so worth it.
In the darkness, Betty silently enters the room, lifts the mosquito net, and crawls in beside me. We had finished our prayer time together not long ago, yet the cares and burdens still seemed to be weighing so heavily on our hearts. She apologizes. I apologize. The stress and cares of this life threaten to overwhelm at times…and it wears on both of us. We snap at each other during the day and end up sitting there at night in the darkness as we cry. We pour out our souls to Jesus and to each other. I whisper a thanks to my precious Jesus for giving her to me. for the blessing of her life. For her love, support, and help.
The burdens. The chains. The weights.
Yes, carrying the burden that Jesus has given me to carry. The yoke He has given me to bear, the vision He has called me to bear, the responsibility that he has placed upon my shoulders. It may be heavy at times…but I know that He allows that heaviness to remind me to put the burden back onto His shoulders where it belongs. He allows the burden, the weight, the responsibility to fall hard upon my soul…so that I must fall to my knees under its weight. So that I must look up to the heavens and cry out for His help. So that I must press my face against the cold hard floor and praise Him in the storm. So that when everything falls apart, I must remember that it is His arms that hold me together.
When it becomes too much for me…then I know that I am once again trying to do this on my own. He gently whispers to my soul, “You were not meant to carry this burden alone. You were not meant to bear this vision alone…you were not meant to walk this road alone. I will carry you…if only you will let Me. Let Me, Amy. Allow Me to carry you; let Me sustain you…allow Me to lift your burdens. I was the One meant to carry them.”
Who does that?? Who else does that for me?
I look beside me to Betty and know that He has sent her to me. He has given her to me on this earth to be a bodily reminder that He is carrying my burdens He has given to me a friend who so badly wants to help carry my load, help me walk this path…live this life with me. The faces of my family back home come to my mind. The emails, the calls, the texts...
He not only figuratively and spiritually removes my burdens…He also sends angels my way in the precious forms of friends and family and even strangers. I’m sure you know exactly what I am talking about.
We are not meant to go this life alone. We are not meant to walk the straight and narrow with no other hands to grab onto when the way becomes so straight and the road becomes so very narrow…when I begin to slip off the edge because the weight is too much, the burden too heavy, the pressure too great…I look around and the only hands I have to grab onto have scars on them. Deep. Beautiful. Ugly. Nail. Scars. And it is these hands…these hard and yet, so very soft hands that I reach out for and cling onto as He pulls me back up from the edge of the narrow road.
I look into the eyes of my children and the cares, instead of increasing and becoming greater…they seem to almost evaporate in the complete love and adoration that I see in each pair of eyes. When I look at them in the candlelight, I can count my blessings…one by one sitting in front of me on the towel laughing and refusing to sit still. I get to bathe 6 filthy little bodies covered in red dirt, mucous, and food every night. I get to play “airplane” with the spoon and food. I get to change diapers all day long and change outfits several times a day. I get to wake up at all hours of the night to walk sleepy upset little bodies.
I get to. I get to.
The privilege. It is a privilege. And as I sit and tickle them and “scare” them with the stuffed animal dog late at night as I try to tuck them in, but end up getting them riled up more…He sweetly says, "This is your privilege."
I get to love them. I don’t have to – I get to. I get to carry the burden of their daily lives…together with my Jesus. I get to be yoked together with Him…and have the burdens of His heart become the burdens of mine. I get to have the chains of the Gospel become the chains that bind me to my Savior.
I get to. The privilege is huge. I get to live this privilege.
And as I walk back into my room and look at each sleeping head (even the head that fell down the stairs in an attempt to walk this evening and scared Mommy for a few minutes), I see the privileges lined up all in a row under the mosquito nets. My children who would rather sleep as close together as possible with Mommy rather than spread out on the big bed. My privileges.
His yoke is easy…His burden is light…because He carries the enormous weight Himself. He gives us the light load, and chooses to carry the massive burden Himself. His shoulders are capable. They carried those horrible beautiful wooden boards down the cobblestone streets thousands of years ago…and He forces me to look at Him. watch Him carry that cross. Watch Him walk that road, carry that burden – the weight of the sins of the world on His shoulders, and He asks Me, “You think I’m not capable of carrying your burden? You think I’m not able to carry the weight of your soul? Look, Amy. Look at what I carried. Look at what I already did for you. Allow Me to carry your burdens again….allow Me to bear the load.”
And so I kneel down. I kneel down and roll my burden onto the floor. I let it slide off my shoulders and back and let it land with a thud beside me. I glance over and see the nail scarred feet standing next to my burden. I watch those precious now nail scarred hands reach down, pick it up and confidently throw it over His shoulder. I glance up and look into the radiant face of my Savior smiling down at me. He lifts me to my feet, walks me to my bed, and tucks His precious child in for the night. Then sings over me the blessed words,
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”