Steve Hill / 24 DEC 2014 –
O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. – 1 Samuel 1:11
Have you ever been overwhelmed with a burden to the point you didn’t know what to do? This weight upon your shoulders was constantly with you throughout the day and into the night. It could have been an identifiable burden, such as the desire to see a family member saved or a friend healed. Or in many cases, it was an unexplainable weight that was only relieved when you spent time on your knees in prayer.
I remember sharing with Leonard Ravenhill during a particular time of heaviness, and I asked him to pray that God would lift it from me. His response was classic: “Why should I ask God to lift this from you, when I’ve been praying that He would put it on you?” He knew the burden was the very reason I was praying so much. If it was lifted from me, perhaps I would pray less. John Newton would have agreed with Leonard Ravenhill’s views. “By affliction prayer is quickened, for our prayers are very apt to grow languid and formal in a time of ease.”
So the next time you feel yourself collapsing under the load, maybe that’s the exact place God wants you. Joseph Caryl once said, “According to the weight of the burden that grieves you, is the cry to God that comes from you.”
If it wasn’t for the burdens of life, there would be less brokenness before God. If it wasn’t for our trials, there would be less travailing. If it wasn’t for our sicknesses, there would be less seeking the Savior. Thank God for the fruit of affliction.
~ 2 Chronicles 18; Revelation 7; Zechariah 3; John 6
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