Father, Would You Carry This, Too?
by David Lorencin
In her biography "The Hiding Place," Corrie ten Boom speaks of an incident when she was about 10 or 11 years old. A term came up that she didn't understand, and the adults in her life seemed too skittish to address it. She decided to wait until she was alone with her father on his weekly train trip to Amsterdam to purchase watches and watch parts, since she knew he would give an honest and thoughtful answer. When she asked him what the term meant, his answer was to take his travel case from the rack and ask her to carry it off the train. Loaded with watches and watch parts purchased that morning, the case was far too heavy for her to lift. "It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now, you must trust me to carry it for you."
Decades later, as a prisoner in a concentration camp during WWII, this lesson would come back to her. The horrors and degradation that she was subjected to and witness to often left her unable to see how she could carry on. She turned to her Heavenly Father. "Father, this is a burden too heavy for me to carry. Would you carry this one for me, too?" Immediately, she would feel inner peace in a place of unimaginable horror.
As we enter this New Year, there are many fears before us. There is much uncertainty, much that seems to be spinning out of control, much that drives the doomsday predictions. We have plans, we have dreams that we would like to see come to reality, but the way things are, we are not sure of whether we will even be able to keep up with the basic things in life, let alone pursue any loftier goals.
This year, may we look to our Heavenly Father like never before. Those things that are too heavy for us to carry on our shoulders, may we have the courage to say, "Father, would you carry this one for me, too?" Our Heavenly Father sees the end from the beginning. The apparent detours that we take may lead us to be exactly where we need to be.
As a young man, Joseph received a couple of dreams that implied that his brothers, and then also his parents, would bow down to him. Those dreams caused resentment among his brothers and, rather than serving to elevate him, they led to him being sold as a slave and sent off to Egypt. The story, which begins in Genesis 37, is well-known. Having been placed rather well (for a slave), Joseph is then falsely accused and sent to prison where he is pretty much forgotten... until one day, he is brought before Pharaoh and placed as the second in command of the greatest civilization on earth in his time. Had Joseph labored to manufacture for himself the fulfillment of the dreams he had, who knows where that would have ended. It is unlikely that it would have ended where it did. I can only imagine what must have gone through his mind as he was sent as a scared, young man to be a slave in a foreign land. What must have gone through his mind as he languished in prison under false charges. I'm sure that, many times, he had occasion to say: "Father, would you carry this, too?" But now can you imagine what must have gone through Joseph's mind as he saw his brothers bowing before him, asking him to provide food necessary for their very survival? When, all those years later, he saw the fulfillment of the dreams of his youth, and realized: God knew all along! God knew exactly what he was going to go through and where it was going to end! He says as much to his brothers when he revealed himself: "And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you... So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God." (Genesis 45:5,8) Later, he would once again reiterate, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20)
As we face this new year with all its uncertainties, let us remember the kind of God we serve. Give your worries to Him. "Father, would you carry this, too?" There are no guarantees that life will be all peachy if you do this. You may end up in prison under false charges; you may even end up in a concentration camp. If you let your Heavenly Father carry those burdens for you, you may lose your possessions, your freedom, even your life, but you will possess something that no one can take away—peace in your heart. Because your God is Life itself, He knows the end from the beginning, and He holds your life safely in His hands. When the Apostle Paul was in prison and facing a potential death penalty, God was the One who gave him the kind of circumspection and peace to be able to declare in Philippians 1 that whichever way it turned out—it was okay. Either he will live on this earth and do more work for the Lord, or he will go to his rest and see his Lord.
Whatever challenges you face in 2018, you don't have to bear them alone. You don't have to worry about how you will make the dreams for your life a reality. God knows how. For us, sometimes that knowledge is too hard to bear. So step boldly into 2018 as you ask: "Father, would you carry this, too?" Because your Heavenly Father can.