Sometimes we just don’t see things that are right under our noses.
I was pondering this fact recently when I thought of the saying “A burden shared is a burden halved”.
Being of a loquacious disposition (sounds more dignified than just being a mere chatterbox!), I have always processed problems by talking about them, usually to my wise and beloved husband or to a couple of close girlfriends with whom I have few secrets.
But sometimes there are worries about the future, usually involving those close to us, that seem just too hard to share because they dredge up too many emotions to feel comfortable about expressing, even to a close friend.
All this philosophising was caused by a very simple act.
Away on holidays for a few days rest and recreation, I opened the top bedside drawer in our accommodation and discovered a Gideons Bible. Gideons is a Christian organisation whose mission is to place Bibles in every room where weary travellers lay down their heads, so that they may always have the comfort of God’s word away from home.
It’s been a long time since I saw one of these once-regular fixtures in holiday accommodation where we stay, and I was delighted to renew my association with it.
On the frontispiece, it had a page headed ‘HELP IN TIME OF NEED’, under which were quotes for most occasions, from when we need salvation through to seeking relief in times of suffering—and everything in between.
Being as curious as a cat, I just had to leaf through all the entries to see how close the suggested Bible passages were to the needs they claimed to address.
So ‘Peace in time of turmoil’ took me to the New Testament book of Philippians, chapter 4, verses 6–7.
And what did my search reveal?
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
And that was my light-bulb moment.
While I say the verse about the peace of God every week at church, I realised I don’t really think about it in relation to the burdens that we all carry.
It’s a wonderful thing to be able to share one’s burdens with family or friends who will support you, but if you ever feel you can’t do that, there is always someone who will share your trouble and reduce that ache in your heart.
God is always there, ready to listen, but we humans tend to forget that, and struggle on with the weight of the world on our shoulders.
Sometimes we all need to embrace the truth that has always been with us and is as relevant today as it has always been.
As a good friend reminded me recently, God always has your back.
Advice worth remembering.