He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother

Do you ever feel uncomfortable when things are going well for you?  I’ll be perfectly honest, I do.  Several things go on in my mind when I’m living on the sunny side of life… first, I find myself looking for and worrying about when “the other shoe” will drop.  When are things going to collapse?  When will tragedy or hardship hit next?  And I think we all know God doesn’t want that for us.  How many times in the bible are we reminded not to worry. 

“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:34

So I’ve worked a lot on that, on not worrying about tomorrow but living for today.  In the meantime, a new joy-thief made its appearance.  I’ve been writing in my prayer journal and starting with my words of praise and thanks and then… nothing.  I’ve been loaded with blessings and joy in life and find that I haven’t felt much of the bad stuff.  And that’s made me feel guilty.  I mean, who am I to deserve all of this goodness?  I know my sins.  I know how far I’ve strayed from God and his commandments.  I most certainly don’t deserve the level of grace and blessings I’ve received.

Now, it occurs to me there are two things wrong with that line of thinking (maybe more.)  God never intended for us to live in guilt.  Our savior is all about forgiveness, so allowing ourselves to languish in a feeling of guilt is contrary to His desires for us. 

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”

John 3:17

But then something else has been revealed to me recently.  God’s grace, goodness, and blessings on me are not just about me.  I mean, how typical is it for us to make everything about ourselves, right?  When the Lord provides abundantly it is with the expectation that we will share that abundance with others. 

Maybe that’s money, food, or physical provision.

But maybe it’s emotional and spiritual too.  I’ve got a very special loved one who is going through a very, very difficult time right now.  I’ve been chatting and talking to her for months as she maneuvers through an unexpected and unthinkable difficulty in her life.  Recently she was thanking me for listening and offering advice and it occurred to me… this isn’t me.  I’m not the one giving her this time, this heart, this comfort.  This is Jesus, speaking and loving her through me.  I’m in a good place emotionally so that I can lift others up.

Recently there was a meme on Facebook challenging people to name a song that comes to mind when they think of their dad.  For me, there are two that prominently come to mind.  The first is “Ain’t as Good as I Once Was” by Toby Keith, which has absolutely nothing to do with this blog post at all!  But the other song is “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother” by the Hollies.  Daddy would say this often when he’d talk about his brother and his best friend.  It was said as a joke, but honestly… my Daddy was a pro at helping others.  He did things for people all the time, giving of himself.  Another thing he often said with a shrug was that he had “broad shoulders.” And how cool is it that all of a sudden, the guy whose salvation I’d been despairing of for the last three years, is suddenly teaching me a lesson from Jesus? 

God sometimes gives us “broad shoulders” so for us, but for others.  He expects us to do for His children, in His name.  To Him be the Glory for humbling me with the opportunity to listen, to provide, to support, and to comfort. 

We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves.

Romans 15:1

The truth is, my brothers and sister, God calls us every moment of every day.  He may be calling our names in love and comfort and support.  Or He may be calling us so that we can offer those things to someone else. 

Are you listening?

I have something very special to announce. Fellow author Eliza Boyd and I are putting together an anthology of sweet and clean romance stories with all the proceeds to benefit Choices Pregnancy Centers of Greater Phoenix. If you love to read romance, then please consider ordering this book. It’s a win-win because you get to curl up this fall with stories that will fill you with the Christmas spirit of love, hope, and faith, plus the money goes to a great cause!

By oliviahardinwriter

When Olivia Hardin started having movie-like dreams in her teens, she had no choice but to begin putting them to paper. Before long, the writing bug had bitten her, and she knew she wanted to be a published author. Several rejections plus a little bit of life later, she was temporarily “cured” of the urge to write. That is, until she met a group of talented and fabulous writers who gave her the direction and encouragement she needed to get lost in the words again. Olivia has attended three different universities over the years and toyed with majors in Computer Technology, English, History and Geology. Then one day she heard the term “road scholar,”' and she knew that was what she wanted to be. Now she “studies” anything and everything just for the joy of learning. She's also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and she’s sometimes accused of being artistic. A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband, Danny, their corgi Bonnie Sue, and their new rescue Heidi Ho.

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