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Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 57: Holy Things Carried

Today's Reading: Numbers 7

"The sons of Kohath did not receive any carts or oxen because theirs was the service of the holy objects, which they carried on the shoulder."
Numbers 7:9

There is a saying, "He's carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders."

At one time or another, many of us find ourselves in this situation. We are carrying either our own loads from this life or the burdens of others. We usually feel the tension of this task in our necks and shoulders. They become stiff and sore with the stress of it all.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

There is a great need for discernment in our everyday life as to what we should take on our shoulders and what we should leave for others to transport in carts. Numbers 7 gives us a huge insight into what is ours to carry--holy things.

I have a tendency to carry worry, insults, complaints or wounded pride on my shoulders. These things make me weary and burdened. They are unholy things that demand full attention and leave no room for rest. As a priest in the priesthood of all believers, I need to throw these things into the carts and let oxen bear their burden, not my shoulders.

One of the interesting parts of Jesus saying is this: "Learn from me..." What is it we are to learn? Could the clue be in the very next statement? "for I am gentle and humble in heart."

Often what I take on is because I am stubborn, controlling and prideful of heart. Worry implies my lack of trust in God. Insults, complaints and wounded pride show me that I am self centered and ego protecting, often more concerned with what others think of me, rather than what God thinks of me. Resting in what God has already done and God's sovereign will and purposes is the key. But how do we answer this call?

Our shoulders were created to wear the yoke of Christ, perfectly fitted to our bodies to carry the cross, the will of God, given to us by the Holy Spirit. These burdens, when properly discerned, are promised by Jesus to be light.

The sons of Kohath bore the holy objects of the tabernacle, carrying them on poles upon their shoulders. The task was a shared one. Their job was simply to carry what was holy from one place to another.

I think there is a lot of wisdom in this small verse in numbers.

Lord, let me hear your word and act upon it.

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