There’s something significant in your life that is bothering you. You look at something in your world, and everything inside you wants to scream out, “This just isn’t right!” You’re bothered by an issue or a group of people in need, and it just wrecks your heart. For some, it might keep you awake at night. For some, it just hits you in the gut every time you think about it. You’re bothered by it. You’re divinely unsettled. It disturbs you. It messes with your mind. It makes you miserable in a good sort of way. It stirs within you a passion to do something about it. You’re blessed with a burden.
Burdens are a blessing given by God to spur us to action and lead us to change the world around us for the better. On Wednesday we’ll discuss how to identify your divine burden, but today let me give you a picture of what a burden can mean to your world.
Martin Luther King became famous because of his burden. He couldn’t stand all the racial oppression he witnessed in the United States in the 50s and 60s. He couldn’t stand the lynching of black people. He couldn’t stand that blacks had to sit at the back of the bus. So his burden drove him to do something about it, and he forever changed race relations in the United States. He was blessed with a burden.
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu had a burden. She was a geography teacher in Calcutta, India. Every morning on her way to teach at St. Mary’s High School, she passed the deplorable conditions of the street people. These people were homeless, diseased and destitute. Seeing their plight everyday gave her a burden to do something about it. Today we know her as Mother Theresa. In 1950 she received permission from the Vatican to begin Missionaries of Charity, which grew to over 4000 nuns who have devoted their lives to caring for the least and lost of Calcutta, India. She was blessed with a burden.
Around twenty years ago, the very popular rock band U2 performed at a day-long “Live Aid” concert in London. Around the world 1.5 billion people watched via satellite. Soon after the concert, lead singer Bono and his wife flew to the Horn of Africa to see where they money he helped raise was going. What he experienced changed his life forever.
Today you’ll find Bono leveraging his influence to bring attention to some of the most devastating yet neglected needs in the world today, whether it’s the AIDS pandemic or reforming trade policy. As Bono said, “I’ve got to give myself to something more than making records.” He’s been blessed with a burden.
What’s your burden? What is it that stirs your heart? Don’t think of it as a curse, think of it as a blessing given to you to spur you to change your world for the better.
QUESTION: How has your burden been a blessing to you?