Monday, February 27, 2017
The following illustration was given by a very well known pastor in the Dallas area: Two men were walking through the countryside on their way to a nearby village. As they walked, they spied an old woman sitting at the edge of a river. She was upset because there was no bridge, and she could not get across on her own. The first man kindly offered, “We will carry you across if you would like.” “Thank you,” she said gratefully, accepting their help. So the two men joined hands, lifted her between them and carried her across the river. When they got to the other side, they set her down, and she went on her way. After they had walked another mile or so, one of them began to complain. “Look at my clothes,” he said. “They are filthy from carrying that woman across the river. And my back still hurts from lifting her. I can feel it getting stiff.” His friend just smiled and nodded his head. A few more miles up the road, the same man griped again, “My back is hurting me so badly, and it is all because we had to carry that silly woman across the river! I cannot go any farther because of the pain.” The other man looked down at his partner, now lying on the ground, moaning. Have you wondered why I am not complaining?” he asked. “Your back hurts because you are still carrying the woman. But I set her down five miles ago.”
Many people are like that complaining man. They are re-living a hard or unhappy experience of the past. The more they dwell on it, the more upset they get, They reach the point where they are of no help to themselves or to others. By experience, many of you have learned that the most productive members of a team or workforce are those who have good attitudes. In fact, in this illustration, it is obvious that the complaining man had a bad attitude from the start and did not do his good deed willingly. Most things that begin badly will end badly. He was like the men-pleasers Paul wrote about in his letter to the Colossians, those who do just enough to comply with their obligations but not with a sincere heart. That is why Paul added: “Whatever you do, do it as for the Lord and not for people.” (Col. 3:23) It seems to me that the complaining man in the illustration only helped carry the woman across just to keep his friend quiet, not with a willing heart.
Like the man in the illustration, are you still re-living a bad experience from the past ?Have you let it rob you of the joy and peace God wants you to have? If you are, let it go! Don’t be like this man. Don’t keep carrying this awfully heavy burden any longer. Give it to Jesus! Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Take His invitation today!
God’s promise for today: (Psalm 55:22) “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”