And He placed a mantle upon her shoulders, the weight of which she doubted endurable…a glorious burden she was entrusted to share.
Often the life of faith flows freely, for those of us determined to follow God’s Spirit. Like a symphony, each one of us discovers his or her desires and talents created in us, and then we practice until they resound in full measure.
Yet a glorious burden is not so. You sense God wants you to do something that even the thought of makes you wince. A glorious burden elicits a somber, pensive mood because it will cost you your comfort. You know the task will require what you do not possess and lead you down a path you do not choose to go.
A glorious burden could be carrying for the infirmed or raising a child who will always be dependent upon you. Perhaps it is encouraging others presently suffering from a situation you survived but would like to forget.
Years ago, a glorious burden presented to me in a dream in which two middle schools asked me, “So many of us are getting through to middle school unable to read. Can you come and help us?”
I gulped the following morning when I awoke.
Previous to the dream, I’d substitute taught middle school and still remembered the volley of paper wads that flew through the air from student-created slingshots. I had vowed that I would NEVER teach middle school…and then the glorious burden presented, and my heart sank.
For four years, I showed up, every day, and faced the fallout of problems at home and continuous failure at school: defiant attitudes, unruly behavior, and angry outbursts.
Yet the glorious burden of teaching struggling middle school readers to read ended up in some of my most precious moments. Students returned with tears in their eyes to tell me about their successes in high school.
How do you know if your commission from God is a glorious burden? You will know because it will take all of your human strength to decidedly live unselfishly, and then large amounts of God’s grace on top of that.
Yet the flip side of a glorious burden is the “glorious part.” Heaven smiles when you accept the commission, and God’s heart extends to impart His concerns for you to share. You serve a purpose that can pass through the veil, which separates the earthly and heavenly realms. In time, you will smile with a sense of satisfaction that is only possible when you take on a glorious burden.
What is your glorious burden? Have you said yes?