The crown?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Does adding stress to my our daily routine help us overcome the stress of spiritual growth, as we get older. When taking on the stress of other people’s burdens, is that the best way of efficiently using that stress? Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.

Conditioning. It's an important part of any fitness program. Years ago when arthritis first struck at my hands and knees, a doctor told me this: "If you start a sensible but very active muscle strengthening program, you'll be better able to overcome the stiffness and your mobility, despite the inevitable deterioration caused by arthritis, will stabilize due to better muscle strength surrounding the arthritic joints. That's when I purchased a weight bench and added 10 minutes a day on the bench keeping my muscles toned. It's arduous work and at times I'm tempted to skip a day. But 15 years later I'm still walking, cutting down trees, and doing most of the chores around Beech Springs that need to be done despite my arthritis. The doctor was right; adding stress to my daily routine would help me overcome the stress of arthritis, as I got older.

And, you know, it's that way when we see an opportunity to take on other people's burdens.

Here's a story: A monarch long ago had twin sons. As they grew, the king sought a fair way to decide who should rule. One day he said, "I am sending you to a far corner of the kingdom where an advisor there will place equal burdens on your shoulders. My crown will one day go to he who first returns bearing his burden like a king." The brothers set out where soon they overtook an old woman struggling under a heavy burden. One of the boys suggested that they stop to help her. The other protested: "We have burdens of our own; let's not stop." He hurried on while his brother stayed behind to give aid. Along the road, from day to day, he found others who needed help. Eventually he reached his father's advisor, where he secured his own burden and started home. When he arrived at the palace, his brother met him and greeted him with dismay. He said, "I don't understand. I told our father the burden was too heavy to carry. How did you do it?" The future king replied, "I suppose when I helped others carry their burdens, I found the strength to carry mine." (Author unknown.)

God's word tells us to "be doers of the word, not merely hearers" (James 1:22). Let's face it; most Christians care about others. Our hearts ache when we see others struggling. That's called compassion and the Holy Spirit works that in our hearts. But it's often at this point where the Old Man, the sinner within, whispers: "Let someone else help. You don't have the time." Often we're concerned about all the burdens we need to carry daily: our jobs, family relationships and all that other "important", heavy stuff. But, if you really want to stay spiritually and emotionally fit to handle your problems, the best defense is an offense. "Stressing" yourself out by helping others, keeps you spiritually and emotionally fit to handle your own burdens. It's not magic, just good conditioning. Why not try starting your spiritual workout today?

We pray. Dear Lord. You give us stressful opportunities in life to react to other people’s burdens so that both they may be comforted and helped, and we might grow in our faith so that we might also be able to bear our burdens with more assurance and ability. How perfect is Your love and mercy O Lord. How imperfect is our willingness to think beyond ourselves when it comes to the burdens in life that You so often afford us as challenges to grow in faith and never the just consequences of our sin. Your mercy is astounding O Lord. Forgive us when we selfishly try to carry our burdens in life with only our own welfare in mind. In Jesus name. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to ”This Passing Day!” <> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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