By Cathy Hart
Palm Harbor UMC/Associate Minister
Palm Harbor, FL
First, read Psalm 32:3-5
Hiking the Appalachian Trail is a challenge that many undertake. It takes planning and endurance to accomplish. Packing smart is an important part of the planning process. If your backpack is too heavy, you will grow weary quickly and not travel far. It might lead to damage to the body and failure to complete the journey.
One year our youth group went on the Wilderness Trail. There were many experienced hikers, but there were a few who were new to the trail. Two of our youth did not pack properly and the weight of their packs was more than they could bear. The team helped them to lighten their packs in order to make it manageable for them to complete the journey.
Some of the loads that we carry are not as visible as a backpack. We may not even be aware of the burden that we carry, but we are very aware of the toll it takes on us. We feel the weight of the burden and it manifests in us through physical and emotional symptoms; “my bones wore out; I was groaning all day long….my energy was sapped.”
This weariness often comes from the weight of the guilt we carry for our sins. But God wants to lighten our load. Jesus said “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). All we must do is confess our sins and he will forgive us and remove our guilt. Then we will regain our strength and be able to complete the journey.
Prayer: Lord, search my heart and reveal to me the sin that weighs me down. Forgive my sin and restore my strength so that I may grow in faith and love. Amen.
1. When was the last time you felt weary from the load you were carrying. How did you restore your strength?
2. Reflect on how your sin can weigh you down.
3. How can confession of sin restore your strength?