I’ve been surprised many times at how strong the connection is between my mind and my body. Thoughts may not be tangible, but there is no denying that they have tangible effects on how my body works (or doesn’t work, as the case may be). My doctor told me years ago that the symptoms I described to him were not a disease—they were the natural (and quite common, he assured me) results of stress. The cure was not medicine, but a quieter mind. Easier said than done. The good news is we’re not alone: Psalm 55:22 and 1 Peter 5:7 invite us to cast our burdens on the Lord, who cares for his children. Galatians 6:2 also encourages God’s people to imitate their Saviour and “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.”

Life has shown me conclusively that my mind and my body are parts of one united whole, and that whole is not as strong as I like to think it is. I depend on help and hope from beyond myself, and I can say with deep gratitude that I have received them from the Lord and from the people he has placed around me. God has also given me the privilege of sharing this same kind of help with others—and has the world ever invented a greater honour than this? These are the things I was thinking about when I wrote these two short poems:


How does stress
Inside my mind
Make my muscles
Start to ache?

How do burdens
On my soul
Feel like burdens
On my back?

How can shadows
I can’t see
Dim the light
Behind my eyes?

How do simple
Words of courage
Give me strength
Again to rise?

An Eternal Honour

To carry the burdens
Of an eternal soul
Is an honour far greater
Than the whole of the world

A treasure that outshines its riches
A position that outranks its privilege

To carry the burdens
Of an eternal soul
Is an eternal honour—

Like nothing the world can offer

One thought on “Burdens”

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