When our family got ready to leave for a trip, I usually had some pretty good help loading the car, because everybody was eager to leave. Now, when we pulled into the driveway at the end of the trip, it was a little different. All of a sudden I noticed I was carrying a lot of things and I didn’t have much company. Five members in our family, but invariably when it was time to unload, I ran in the house and found… let’s see, there’s one on the phone, one in the bathroom, one opening the mail, one in their room, and one carrying the load. That was me. I’d be in the kitchen yelling, “Help!” as I staggered in with things hanging from both shoulders – doing my impersonation of a mule, things in my arms, my hands, my mouth, my teeth. Listen, it is frustrating to have a load to carry and nobody is there to help.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Your Share of the Load.”
Now that you’re tired of my whining, why don’t we go to our word for today from the Word of God. It’s in Nehemiah 1. Nehemiah is the cupbearer to the King of Persia. Many miles from the city of Jerusalem, which is torn down and has been largely leveled – it’s God’s Holy City. And the report comes back and here’s what it says: “They said to me, ‘Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.’ Nehemiah said, ‘When I heard these things I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.'”
Now, Nehemiah, with the king’s permission, ends up going back to lead the rebuilding of that wall, which was actually an engineering miracle. He says in chapter 2, verse 12, “I had not told anyone yet what God had put in my heart to do.” Nehemiah is basically saying here, “I heard about a need and something happened in my heart.” Okay, now, let me just tell you, that’s what I’m praying will happen to you today.
Nehemiah heard about a need – he took ownership of it. He started to grapple with it. He wrestled in prayer over it. And he said, “This one breaks my heart.” And after he prayed, he got involved in planning to do something about it and then even in the leadership. Okay, now God is carrying a load in His heart. God’s burden is for lost people. Some are in the United States, some are in Mexico, some are in Africa, some are in Europe, but they’re all headed for an unspeakable eternity without His Son.
Some of the people He’s burdened for are children, some are teenagers, some are homeless, hungry, senior citizens, some are in prison. Some of those lost people live in mansions, some in drug-infested urban neighborhoods, some are in garbage dumps around the world; garbage dumps that smolder forever. I couldn’t begin to list the load that God’s carrying on His heart, but I do know He’s asking you to live some of your life for some of the people He gave His life for. He has a part of His heart that He wants to plant in your heart.
Look at Nehemiah! Nehemiah allowed this need to break his heart, and then he got involved in intensive, focused prayer for that need. God wants to put a hot spot, a passionate spot in your heart; a focused burden for some mission field or some people group, or some urgent need. He doesn’t want to bear this burden alone. When we have a heavy load to carry, we expect every family member to carry part of it.
Well, God has a part of His load for you to carry. No child of God is exempt. “To whom much is given, much is required.” So begin on your knees, “Lord, go ahead and break my heart for something that breaks yours.” Take some ownership for one of those needs. And what will God do with your willing heart? I don’t know, but He’ll make your life bigger as you get beyond caring about what just concerns you. And you will have a bond with Jesus from His heart to yours. That is incredible!
Let Him share with you something that concerns Him, and you’ll be in a position to really make a difference. Because God has planted passion in your heart for something that is in His heart and for people He died for.