Under or Atop?

One day when walking down the street,
On business bent, while thinking hard
About the “hundred cares” which seemed
Like thunder clouds about to break
In torrents, Self-pity said to me:
“You poor, poor thing, you have too much
To do. Your life is far too hard.
This heavy load will crush you soon.”
A swift response of sympathy
Welled up within. The burning sun
Seemed more intense. The dust and noise
Of puffing motors flying past
With rasping blast of blowing horn
Incensed still more the whining nerves,
The fabled last back-breaking straw
To weary, troubled, fretting mind.
“Ah, yes, ’twill break and crush my life;
I cannot bear this constant strain
Of endless, aggravating cares;
They are too great for such as I.”
So thus my heart condoled itself,
“Enjoying misery,” when lo!
A “still small voice” distinctly said,
“Twas sent to lift you—not to crush.”
I saw at once my great mistake.
My place was not beneath the load
But on the top! God meant it not
That I should carry it. He sent
It here to carry me. Full well
He knew my incapacity
Before the plan was made. He saw
A child of His in need of grace
And power to serve; a puny twig
Requiring sun and rain to grow;
An undeveloped chrysalis;
A weak soul lacking faith in God.
He could not help but see all this
And more. And then, with tender thought
He placed it where it had to grow—
Or die. To lie and cringe beneath
One’s load means death, but life and power
Await all those who dare to rise above.
Our burdens are our wings; on them
We soar to higher realms of grace;

Without them we must roam for aye
On planes of undeveloped faith,
For faith grows but by exercise in circumstance impossible.

Oh, paradox of Heaven. The load
We think will crush was sent to lift us
Up to God! Then, soul of mine,
Climb up! for naught can e’er be crushed
Save what is underneath the weight.
How may we climb! By what ascent
Shall we surmount the carping cares
Of life! Within His word is found
The key which opes His secret stairs;
Alone with Christ, secluded there,
We mount our loads, and rest in Him.

—Miss Mary Butterfield

Trying to figure out how to express the recent struggles within my brain and emotions I came across this poem in Streams in the Desert. Could not discover anything about the author, but I do like her ideas!

“Alone with Christ, secluded there, we mount our loads and rest in Him.” That is the answer repeatedly in my journey. Go to Him. Rest and regain perspective for the next phase of the journey. Recently I read a book by Charles Martin about football. His character was living near a junkyard. He made it is his practice to run to the top of a pile of tires and other automobile debris as part of his conditioning. Make this our journey. To run to the top of the debris in our life. Make it the conditioning track that we need for victory in our hearts, minds and souls. When I am reminded to love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength I often fail to realize that will take conditioning and practice. I must determine to do that – daily, hourly!

When Self-pity speaks to you I hope you will get up and get moving. Let those warped thoughts drop to the ground and travel on with His empowerment. You ARE able to do many things you never thought possible through Christ Who strengthens you.

Much of our suffering occurs between our ears. Was it Mark Twain who said “I’ve known many troubles in my life. And most of them never came to pass.” Stay on top!

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