When burdens grow greater

Read: Psalm 40

We often don’t have to look to far to find burdens that seem to weigh us down. Sometimes they are health challenges, sometimes financial difficulties, sometimes relationship tensions, and other times just various circumstances that are going on. In Psalm 40 David is lamenting many of these things to God. I believe this Psalm and the poem listed below is meant for someone this week, probably all of us.

Annie Johnson Flint could relate well with those burdens. Her life on earth could never be measured in any degree by comfort and ease; quite the contrary, from childhood her body endured the onslaught of Rheumatoid Arthritis until she could no longer rise from bed. Over the years the affliction took a great toll, leaving her with no choice but to seek some comfort from sleeping and resting on soft pillows. Her body developed serious bed sores and finally she suffered the ravages of cancer.

Yet her attitude through all the struggles with pain and confinement may best be expressed through one of her great Christian poems that has been set to music in many hymnals. Her faith in God and His purpose, reflected through these words, portray her deep commitment and disposition of hope and peace: (Paul Fritz, Trinity College)

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

His love has no limit;
His grace has no measure.
His power has no boundary known unto men.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

May the words from this poem and the words of this Psalm give us the strength we need when the burdens grow greater. As David says in verse 4, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.” In verse 17 he says, “May the Lord think of me. You are my helper and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.”

Make it personal: Take some time to write down the things that are a burden to you right now. Pray over that list and ask God to help you deal with those and to constantly remind you of his love, grace, and power in your life. As Annie writes, “His power has no boundary.” Claim that in your life this week!

Have a great week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church