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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 118: Removing the Burden

Today's Reading: Psalm 81, 88, 92-93

I believe in healing.

There. I said it.

And I'm not talking about the kind of healing that comes about when you take antibiotics or have surgery. And I'm not talking about the kind when some tele-evangelist starts screaming and getting everyone worked up and then smacks someone over the head.

I'm talking about full blown healing from God and the touch of the Holy Spirit through the hands of believers in Jesus Christ.

I have brothers and sisters in Christ who have the spiritual gift of healing. I go to them. They lay me down, touch me and pray over me. While they are doing this, I breathe deeply, I submit myself to God and I wait.

Sometimes in the midst of my waiting, I feel that rush of tingling through my body that is visible in the goosebumps on my skin. Sometimes I feel a weight or a release. Sometimes I receive a picture. Sometimes a hymn begins in my mind or a scripture passage.

This kind of healing for me is usually based on setting me free of something I've been carrying--some emotional burden, spiritual hardness of heart or sorrow. Interestingly, these things are not only carried in my soul but come out as pain or tension in my body.

In the biblical days of slavery, slaves were expected to carry burdens which were not their own. In Egypt, the burden of bricks and mortar to build the walls and pyramids of Israel's enemy was carried by yokes around the neck. These yokes of burden were like fetters around the neck, causing great amounts of neck, shoulder and back pain.

In one of today's Psalms, God declares,
"I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket."

Psalm 81: 6

When I feel burdened, I get physical pain in my neck, shoulders and back. What about you? Or sometimes, I have that kind of pain and I don't even know what's going on. I am often unaware of my own stress.

Yesterday, as my friend was praying over me and encouraging me to release whatever was blocking a full relationship with God, a word came to me. It sounded foreign. I had no clue what it meant and wondered if it meant anything at all. But when, in my heart, I named it and gave it to God, I felt a relaxing take place.

Now, I began to wonder about that word. What did it mean? It sounded Aramaic or Hebraic, but I had no clue. I began to try to find it in my Hebrew dictionary.

I found it...

It was actually two words.

Two words that mean "swallowed down" and "grief."

Swallowed down grief.

I had been struggling the week before with a great disappointment, a huge sadness. And there was the Holy Spirit of God, naming it and holding out the hand of God, saying, "Come to me, O Burdened One." Give it up to me.

The hand of God was open to take the pain.

I personally am very glad to give it to Jesus.

Remove the burden from my shoulders, LORD.

Take it off my back.

Heal me.

Set me free.

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