In his helpful book, “Strength of Soul,” W. Phillip Keller says one of the most compelling invitations ever extended by God to man came when the Lord said quietly, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28). He then explains that we don’t have to go far to find those laboring along with profound personal problems, carrying heavy loads which weigh them down in despair, frustration and grief. Our responsibility is to be alert to their needs and respond to them.
I once received a call from someone facing an urgent financial need. I was glad for the opportunity to help. Let me tell you why: Preceding the call for help I had read Proverbs 3:26-27: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go and come back and tomorrow I will give it,’ when you have it with you.”
This clear Biblical text reminded me of my responsibility to be a load lifter, loosening my grip on funds that could help and allowing me to be part of a miracle; actually two of them: later in the day a man placed a check in my hand amounting to nearly the amount I had given earlier.
September 18, 1957, found us serving our first church. We had three children and were awaiting the birth of another but had no health insurance and didn’t know how we would pay the hospital expenses for the birth of this fourth child. On that very day, a letter arrived from people in another community, who knew nothing about the soon arrival of another child, saying they had sold their farm and that God had let them know we had a special need. These caring ones had thoughtfully enclosed a generous check.
The baby was born that night and the check sent was within five dollars of the amount of the hospital bill; making them our heaven-sent load lifters.
When concluding a telephone conversation with a customer service representative of a bank, I said, “Have a wonderful day and remember God loves you!”
“Thank you for saying that,” she replied, her voice trembling.
“Are you going through a tough time?” I asked.
And within moments we were praying together.
I mailed a helpful book to her; one intended to replace loads with love.
Tired and troubled people are everywhere. We meet them every day. Some are standing in checkout lines or at cash registers. Others deliver mail or drive fire trucks. Some show their sorrows or stresses in their appearance and others are in happy disguises, choosing to keep their problems to themselves.
We’re deputized by our loving Lord to always be looking for these weary ones so we can personally pass on His load-lifting invitation to come and find rest.
When we have no money to give, we can pray for those in need and simply say, “Have a wonderful day and remember God loves you!”
He does and will likely send a miracle their way through another able messenger.
Even then, you’ll have helped lift a load through your love and prayers.
Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.