these things you carry (a devotion)


Bel bows down, Nebo stoops,
    their idols are on beasts and cattle;
these things you carry are loaded
    as burdens on weary animals.
They stoop, they bow down together;
    they cannot save the burden,
    but themselves go into captivity.

Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from your birth,
    carried from the womb;
even to your old age I am he,
    even when you turn gray I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
    I will carry and will save.

ISAIAH 46:1-4

You know that feeling of being completely overwhelmed? Maybe you find yourself over-committed at work, at home, at school, with family, or with friends. Maybe you are struggling to meet expectations that others have for you or expectations you’ve set for yourself. Perhaps you’re struggling with the weight of guilt or grief. All these things you carry are loaded on your back as though you are the weary animal, burdened to bear the weight of the world.

The beasts and cattle described in Isaiah 46 know how that feels. Here the livestock strain under the weight of man-made Babylonian gods. The animals stoop and bow down, unable to bear the burden of hte heavy gold statues they are forced to carry. Isaiah says the people of God have been groaning under such burdens, but instead they should come to see that they are carried by God. Isaiah reminds us that instead of bearing the weight of false gods, God’s people have been borne by God since birth. Instead of struggling under the weight of human-made golden idols, the house of Jacob will be carried, even in old age, by the Creator.

Hear this good news: Though we live under the weight of a fallen world and sometimes feel like we cannot bear to carry one more thing, God promises to hold us up. God made us, and God will bear, carry, and save us.

Loving God, We feel overwhelmed at all we have done and all we still need to do. Like burdens on weary animals, various kinds of stress weigh us down. Quiet our minds. Calm our hearts. Help us to lay our burdens at your feet. Let us rest on your promise that you have carried us since birth and will never let us down. In the saving name of Christ we pray…


About SaraBSutter

I serve as the pastor of United Presbyterian Church in Goldfield, Iowa. My husband Steve and I are excited to be in a friendly small town and look forward to the years ahead. In addition to nerdy church stuff, I love reading books, writing, good coffee, cats, and football.

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