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Octavius Winslow
The Lord is My Portion

"The Lord is My Burden-Bearer"

“Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you.”—Psalm 55:22

Wonderful words! Their sense is magical, their sound is music, their very utterance is repose! It is one of those flowers culled from the Lord’s garden, pencilled with beauty and laden with perfume, which defies all human art to heighten the loveliness of the one, or to increase the sweetness of the other. And yet, as most flowers are more fragrant when crushed, and as the grape yields its sweetest juice when pressed, a simple exposition of these precious words, however gentle the pressure, may prove a spiritual fragrance and refreshment to some sin or trial-burdened child of God, whose glance may fall upon these pages.

The FITNESS of Jesus to be the Burden-Bearer of His people surely needs no proof to those who have studied His Word, and are in any measure acquainted with Him. He possesses all the essential qualifications for so demanding an office. What must be the overwhelming weight of all the sins, cares, trials, needs and wants, of His whole Church? What! a mere creature, a finite being, able to stand for one moment beneath the load! Preposterous idea! But our Burden-Bearer is equal in every respect of power, love, and sympathy, to sustain this mighty burden—the burden of God and the burden of the Church. “I have laid help upon one that is mighty,” said Jehovah, and that ‘help’ involved all that the moral government of God demanded, and all that the necessities of the Church required in order to our salvation. Because He was essentially Divine, He was equal to the case. And now, O my soul, what is your burden? Remember the invitation is a personal one, and therefore includes every care and need, sin and sorrow, that you have. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you.”

Is SIN your burden? What a mighty sin-bearer is Jesus. “Jehovah has laid on Him the iniquities of us all.” Then, cast this burden on Jesus. Though He bore it all once, He bears it all afresh in every sin we confess at His feet, and in every trace of guilt we bring to the renewed cleansing of His blood. Attempt not to carry your sin a single moment, or a single step—take it at once in penitence and faith to Jesus; confess it unreservedly, and wash afresh in the fountain still open and still accessible to you. “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean.”

Is TRIAL your burden, O my soul? Jesus is a ‘tried stone,’ and is, therefore, in all respects equal to yours. He has sent, or has permitted, this trial to befall you, that you might learn more of this precious tried stone. The Lord tests the faith of the righteous, that they might test His faithfulness. Test His wisdom to guide, test His strength to sustain, test His love to bring you through this trial, even as gold, to the glory of His great name.

Perhaps your burden is a DIFFICULTY which, like a huge stone, stands in your path, and which no human sagacity or power can remove. “Is anything too hard for me? says the Lord.” He can unravel your perplexity, disentangle you from all your difficulties, and roll the stone from your path. Cast this burden upon Him. “My eyes are ever toward the Lord; for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.”

Is NEED your burden? What need cannot the Lord supply? All the resources of Infinity are at His command. “The gold and the silver is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills,” are the words with which He challenges your need, and would suppress your fear. Does He provide for the fowls of the air? then do you think that He will starve the children of His love?

But whatever your burden, cast it in the prayer of faith on the Lord. Peculiar and heavy though it may be, His strength and grace and love will sustain you. Encircled by His almighty arm, aided by prayer, upheld by the promises, strengthened by His grace, soothed by His sympathy, and comforted by His Spirit, you shall not sink, for it is written, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you.”

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