We carry burdens. We all have them, now what do we do with them? I don't know about you, but I don't want to carry those things around with me. I can hardly move as it is.
Ichabod's mother carried huge burdens around with her. I wish someone could have helped her. She married a priest's son. Her husband openly cheated on her by sleeping with women at the entrance of the temple. He stole from the Israelite people, was unruly, and not only dishonored his father, but God as well.
Her burdens were enough to cause anyone to turn bitter. But then she lost her husband and brother-in-law in a battle and her father-in-law in a tragic accident. When she heard the news that the enemy stole the Arc of the Covenant, the very thing her husband was supposed to have guarded, she completely lost it.
There’s always that one thing that breaks the straw on the camel’s back, throws us over the mountain, and pounds us so hard we end up flat on our backs. That one last thing is what caused Ichabod’s mother to turn bitter – so bitter she couldn’t see or find the joy of having a son. Yes, did I mention that she was pregnant? She was, and the news of the deaths of her husband, brother-in-law, and father-in-law shoved her right into labor.
Can we relate? What do we do? How do we handle these burdens without losing our minds?
We have tools and privileges today that most biblical women didn’t have. The problem is, we often rarely use them.
Ichabod's mother, who isn't named in scripture, named her son Ichabod - meaning the Glory of God has departed. She was in such distress, she couldn't name her son anything other than God has departed. Was there value in seeing that she had a son to carry on her family name; that this child wasn't cursed, and that he could grow in the Lord and have a blessed life? At that moment her grief took over and stamped doom on Ichabod's life.
Here's what we can do:
Come to see your value, that you are important in God’s eyes, and that He does care. Without that, you’ll never get past the first number. If you believe God doesn't care, you'll probably never turn to Him.
Turn to God - then again, if you can turn to God amid your burdens, He will help you find your value and worth. (Moses set a good example. Burdened from the people, he turned to God)
Find a friend to confide in – biblical women spoke, but who knows if they shared as women in today’s world have the privilege of doing. Do you have someone to talk to? (Moses had his siblings that walked with him much closer than any of the others)
Find Your Voice –I can tell you I’ve struggled with this myself. Coming from an abusive background, you learn to keep your mouth closed. Fear doesn’t have to control us, we can reach out and speak the truth in love. We can tell the person in our life we’re not okay with what’s happening, we can call a pastor, seek out a counselor, and build strength in our thoughts and heart. We can ask for prayer, share a concern, and reveal a struggle to those we trust. (Moses found his voice by telling God he couldn't carry the burden of these people anymore.)
Make Changes – In today’s world, we have the power to change. I’ve heard it said, “When you have put up with it long enough, you’ll decide to change.” The “putting up” with your burdens doesn’t always end in you wanting to change. I’ve met women who’ve lived with burdens their whole life, never making one change. Tiny steps my friends. (God told Moses what to do and make some changes that would lighten his burden. Numbers 11)
Make a burden list of each thing in your life and what you’d like to see changed. Take a big look at the list and pick one thing to work on. Perhaps you tackle the toughest one first and the rest fall into place, or you take one tiny step by choosing the least burden.
Maybe your burden is something you can’t do anything about except surrender it to God.
That’s a BIG step – check it off!
Ichabod’s mother couldn’t see that God gave her a son to carry on her husband’s name and birthright. God could have set their lives on a different path and brought her into a glorious future. That is His plan after all – not to harm us but to help us prosper.
My Friends – don’t allow your burdens to turn you bitter. The Glory of the Lord has not departed. Release your burdens to the Lord and He will either set you free of them or help you work through them.
Praying for you always!