Burdens. Psalm 55 is full of heavy burdens.
I am restless in my complaint and I moan. (55:2)
[The wicked] drop trouble upon me,
and in anger they bear a grudge against me. (55:3)
My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen upon me. (55:4)
Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me. (55:5)
I see violence and strife in the city. (55:9)
Oppression and fraud
do not depart from its marketplace. (55:11)
For it is not an enemy who taunts me–
then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me–
then I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend.
We used to take sweet counsel together;
within God’s house we walked in the throng. (55:12-14)
Heavy burdens. Restlessness. A gathering enemy. Oppression. Grudges. Anguish. Fear. Violence. Strife. Fraud. Taunts. Betrayal. Psalm 55 is full of heavy burdens.
And yet, David wholeheartedly believes that he, a mere mortal, can address the Lord of the universe, “he who is enthroned from of old” (55:19), with confidence.
Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me. (55:1-2)
I call to God,
and the LORD will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he hears my voice. (55:16-17)
Perhaps even more incredible? David encourages us to do the same.
Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved. (55:22)
This is the God who is willing to bear the burdens you are willing to cast. Doesn’t God’s own Son make that clear?
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)
He is willing to bear the burdens you are willing to cast. The burden of past sin.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1)
The burden of present trials.
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31)
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (Rom 8:34-35)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Rom 8:37)
The burden of anxieties over the future.
The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Rom 8:18)
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38-39)
This is the assurance that frees us to cast.
Heavy burdens are a part of post-Genesis 3 life. When I go a day, a week, a month without prayer, I’m acting as if I can carry those burdens on my own. Truth is, I can’t. Grace is, I don’t have to. “Cast your burden on the LORD.” If I’m willing to cast it in faith, he’s willing and able to bear it. Just listen…
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Pet 5:6-7)