Fri., Apr. 1/22
The story is told of a weary traveler walking along a roadside carrying a large and heavy packsack on his back. A farmer happens by pulling a horse-drawn cart of loose hay. “Hop on,” he says to the man who very gratefully accepts, climbs up and stands on the wagon. After a few minutes of travel the farmer looks back and notices the man still standing and wearing his packsack. “You might as well remove your packsack and relax,” said the farmer. But the man replied, “Oh no kind sir. I have already imposed upon you to carry me, I mustn’t ask you also to carry my packsack!”
What a silly man, you are no doubt thinking! The horse-drawn wagon is already carrying both the man and his burden. But isn’t this often how we behave before our Lord. We give Him our life, yet continue to carry its burdens. Peter, seeing this tendency, urged his readers “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:7). It’s a verse often cited and was my mother’s favorite. Often through the turbulence of my teens she would speak it to me, frail as she was, tapping on the back of my hand in her weakened attempt at emphasis. Indeed it was her own frailty which testified loudest, for she had no strength of her own, only His.
Why do we hesitate to trust Him? Perhaps Peter suggests one reason in the context of his admonishment:
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’* Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:5b-7).
Humility is required to admit one’s need of God. The root of all sin is pride and humility is its only antidote. We must each learn this and submit to it. Do you need to be lifted up? James concurs with Peter, also citing Solomon, and urges “…Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’* Submit yourselves, then, to God… Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (Jas. 4:6-7,10).
There is really only “one thing”** needed to walk in the footsteps of Jesus: Complete and utter surrender and reliance upon Christ. — It’s O.K. to drop your packsack.
- *Prov. 3:34
- **A most enriching study is to research all occurrences of the phrase “one thing” in scripture