Psalm 142:2 NLT
'I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.'
There are times when life’s troubles are too great to be carried alone. That is part of bearing each other’s burdens that Paul speaks of. Sometimes my ‘crying’ is as much about self-pity as it is about the actual reality of the issue, yet I need someone to carry my pain for a while.
However, I cannot leave my burden being shouldered by another. I may feel the relief of having located it elsewhere, yet it remains my burden. Whoever I’ve loaded it on has no interest in living with the emotions and problems my burden introduces into their life and experience. They need the skill to identify that burden as not their own, and then to find an appropriate way to give it back to me.
Jayne has helped me greatly here. Jayne recognised how I sought to offload my feelings as I made a case for the challenges that were overwhelming me. She was wonderful in empathy, supportive in prayer and just plain cruel in ensuring she passed back to me my debris, rather than her carrying it on my behalf. Slowly I developed skills to acknowledge and address my own dysfunction and find God in the heart of it.
God, of course, was the right person to turn towards, for in the cross I had the ideal place to lay down my dysfunction. Jesus carries the world’s dysfunction crucified on the cross and is the means by which I am able to work through my own pain manifest through both expression and suppression. Compline introduces a place in which I can indeed “pour out my complaints” and “reveal my trouble” (HCSB) to God. I am invited to lay it at the foot of the cross and then to walk away. The challenge is not returning to it and gathering it back up to carry it into tomorrow.
QUESTION: Who shares your burdens with you?
PRAYER: Lord, you said I can cast all my cares on to you because you care for me. Thank you.