"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11: 28 & 29, New King James Bible).
"Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, 'You will be made free'?" Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever." (John 8: 31-35 New King James Bible).
"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8: 36 New King James Bible).
Many years ago, the good and evil thoughts we entertain in consciousness were depicted (often in cartoons and newspaper drawings) as a person having a small devil sitting on one shoulder, whispering in his ear, while a little angel sat on the other shoulder, whispering in the other ear. These pictures appeared in various publications, but their symbolism and message were always the same: Be cognizant of the two types of subtle, mental forces whispering to your own consciousness; some are destructive, devilish thoughts that will lead you down the road to grief and unhappiness, while others are the constructive, angelic thoughts that will move your life in the right direction.
The message still works because the symbolism is still true: Thought precedes action. What we think, self-justify, or hold to be true in the deepest part of our consciousness will take form in the way we assess every new situation. We will manifest, or 'act out' in the human scene, the beliefs we decide to put into effect. Whatever whisperings we allow to take root in human consciousness, a ripple action will go out into the world. So, it's wise to examine our thinking to see if it's based in a belief of a godless, material reality, OR is our belief system proceeding from a more spiritual basis of thinking and living?
At an early age, a message was driven home to me concerning God's love, and the burdens we needlessly carry in our daily lives. This was also when I first learned to listen, more attentively, to the 'angel whisperings'. Here's what happened:
Long ago, in the late 1940s, I was a little girl attending my first adult church service with my parents. I remember that particular experience because (during that service) there was a married couple who got up after the sermon and did a presentation to the congregation. This couple had several paper charts that they flipped up to show how they had become free of an enormous debt (of many thousands) which, as I recall, had occurred due to the loss of their family business.
Now, in the late 40s, to owe a debt of that magnitude was a big deal. Also, in those days, filing bankruptcy was considered a shameful thing, so it wasn't considered as a 'right way out'. The country was still recovering from the great depression and a war, so this couple's story wasn't exactly a unique one. Still, a small antenna began to go up in my mind as they were speaking.
Although I'm now telling this story from the standpoint of an adult (in more mature words than I would have used as a child) I remember this early experience quite clearly because it related to my own parents' struggle to meet the rent and the many other monthly bills. Times were very stressful in our home due to the lack of finances. So, I began to listen closely to what this couple had to say about God being our real Source of everything, including money and other forms of supply.
This couple told of how burdened they'd felt by this great debt and how they had suffered much depression and fear because of it. They said that it was only when they realized that they were really God's own children that they began to treat this burden of debt in another way.
They said that while praying about it, they suddenly became more aware of God's presence and power concerning their plight. They began to realize that all people are God's sons and daughters, but if we don't know this, we would continue missing the realization of how God's love comes into the human picture to deliver us from worldy burdens of all kinds. Then they talked about how God is not a mortal or human being; God is Spirit, the all-intelligent Spirit. They told the congregation that this spiritual Intelligence we call God is perfectly capable of being our real Source of everything, including money.
That was what captivated my attention. I'd never heard anyone in my family say they expected God to do anything about our money problems. My own dad felt greatly burdened due to our constant lack of income in those days. Men had most of the jobs; women rarely worked outside the home. Since so many people were struggling financially, I'm sure our family problems were a normal phenomenon.
Yet, my child-mind noticed that no matter how often people went to church on Sundays, it was as though the adults around me always expected to be on their own, without any divine help being expressed in the human scene—not just in my family, but in the general public at that time. As I mentioned, the country had just come through a depression and war, and it seemed to my child's perception that no one, however religious, really trusted God to help them with any of it; certainly not with supply of money, food or clothing. Yet, here was this couple, speaking words that my child-mind had been waiting to hear, telling us where God was in all these bad times.
Before their presentation, the only place I'd heard about God, at all, was in my Lutheran Sunday School. My early teachers were very adamant that God loves us and takes care of us. If that was so, I wondered, why didn't everyone know this? (I realize, now, how fortunate I was to have had those early teachers. They cultivated in me a strong sense of God's love, never being far away, to deliver us from whatever goes wrong in our lives.)
During their presentation, this couple showed how, over a few months of simply trusting God as the Source of all supply, several new ways came to their thoughts, attention, and messages from others, on how to reduce the mountain of debt that seemed so impossible to them before. And they showed on their charts that in just those few months, the entire debt was paid off.
Anyway, a great principle was born in me, that day. This new principle was that God, the Creator of all, was not just the mysterious, loving, and invisible presence I believed in; God, Spirit, is also the Intelligence, which always has within Its all-knowingness, the ways and means of meeting all our earthly needs.
Everything we could ever need, or even want, was and is already there, in that invisible presence we call God; and that mental Presence is already within us to tell us what to do, where to go, how to build, what next steps to take—if we only tune in and listen for that divine Voice, whispering, not on our shoulder, but from that link with God within our own consciousness.
From that day on in my childhood, I began to perceive, more and more, that this One, all-inclusive Spirit is our Source in all ways. Each of us has our own divine inheritance of all good. As the years have flown by, I've also come to realize that our divine Source is also the Reliever of burdens which seem to take over our lives, steal our joy and upset our peace of mind.
In every human situation, this divine Intelligence, Love, and harmonious Purpose knows even the channel that our provision from Spirit is to take, in order for our good to manifest materially. The divine Intelligence knows the right path of deliverance from whatever material threat appears in our daily lives. If someone is needed to help us, the Almighty One knows which person in our sphere is the right one to do so. God, as Creator, knows us better than we know ourselves, "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' " (Acts 17: 28, New King James Bible).
As long as some thing or some situation is good for us to have, and as long as it causes no harm to anyone else, our loving Father-Mother supplies it, just as human parents care for the children they love. God's love withholds nothing from his off-spring. "… Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours." (Luke 15: 31, New King James Bible). But we must listen for the gentle voice within to outline our actions. Human will is out.
Earthly burdens can come upon us and stay for years. They don't always have to do with money. For example, the growing numbers of the elderly living into their 90s and 100s brings new burdens not known in society before. They suffer from loss of independence and feel burdened over things that seem trivial to others, but yet are needed in their lives. Even when living in assisted-living homes, the elderly need others to do the many things they can no longer do, such as drive a car, reach up high to get something from a shelf, dress themselves properly, the list is long.
Family members often become the care-givers of their elderly parents, (or in some cases, a chronically ill member of the family). Just some of the physical chores of care-givers to the elderly include: trips to doctors, dentists and other health providers; managing their clothes; managing their finances; and providing their many personal supplies. Emotional care-giving includes: checking on them regularly, visiting them regularly, soothing their frustrations and fears; watching for depression. In many ways, emotional support can be the most draining on the care-givers.
After years of such service, however, care-givers can suffer 'burn-out' much in the same way that people suffer when they've been at a career job too long. Fatigue and depression can quietly develop, over the years, until the sense of burden from the seemingly endless responsibility for someone else takes them over, as the care-giver's own mental and physical needs are constantly put on the back burner.
Once a month, I try to meet with a group of my old school mates, just to keep in touch. About two months ago, we got into a discussion about the burn-out from care-giving that was affecting each one of us in some way, including myself. As we shared our experiences (mostly with parents in their eighties or nineties now) I noticed a theme: we each felt, deep down inside, that if we didn't do the care-giving, no one else would do it, and our elderly parents would be abandoned. We were all believing that we had no choice but to continue trying to supply all their needs; it was our duty. If we stopped for a moment, they would probably suffer greatly.
So, after that meeting, I realized that I had been caught up into a human scenario, lived with it for many years, and all along it had been based on a completely false assumption: The truth is that if we didn't do it, God, their Creator and ultimate Care-giver, would still be present with them to meet all their needs, physical and emotional. For several days, I stayed with this realization. I had been caught up in the world's view of aging—yet, the passing of time has never separated anyone from the love of God.
Slowly, I was seeing my own material, egotistic sense of being when I considered myself to be my mom's Source. I was not all-in-all to my mom. God is all-in-all to her. What had I been thinking and acting out all these years since my dad passed away? Both my human mother and mother-in-law (whom my husband attends) live at the same assisted living home; and both of them still have God, who is their real, eternal Source of loving care and supply.
After several days of letting this stay forward in my consciousness, I remembered a passage from the Bible that one of my great aunts told me when she was 95 and I had asked her if there was anything she needed. She replied, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." (Psalm 37:25, King James Bible).
Finally, I saw what she meant. Just going through the human drama of growing old materially doesn't mean we must take on the worldly assessment of such an experience. We don't have to be sick, deteriorating physically and mentally, or losing God. We are God's own spiritual, ever-lasting children. God never leaves us or leaves the responsibility for our care to others. God is always with each of us, throughout our entire journey through this material experience. Having God, we have who we need, as well as what we need, every moment of our lives.
Just recently I tested out this knowledge. My mom wanted me to do another task for her that felt very burdensome to me. I honestly felt that I couldn't do it properly, even if I wanted to. So, I remembered my newly-found freedom from the sense of burden. I turned to God, her real Source.
It then came to my thought that, yes, my mom needed someone to do this task for her; but only God knew who that person was. My mother didn't need me, she needed God's vision, power and presence. The important thing for her was that she always HAS the invisible presence of God. Her very link to God is in her own spiritual consciousness. This spiritual consciousness, the universal Christ Consciousness, is within us all. It may seem dormant when we fill our consciousness with worldly beliefs instead of the truth of spiritual being; but this higher Self is always with us to remember, when, like a radio receiver, we turn our thoughts to God's presence and power, and cast out the worldly whisperings of God's absence. I felt peaceful then, after these realizations.
A couple days later, my mom called to tell me that a wonderful thing had happened. The task she needed was already done. It had been completed by another elderly woman (who had been a seamstress and still had her sewing equipment) who lived across the hall, only ten feet from mom's door. This individual, who had the skill and equipment to help her, had actually been close by all along; but only the all-seeing, all-knowing divine Mind knew this and found the way to bring them together.
None of us has to carry the various burdens that present themselves to us in this material experience. Burdens like to linger; for if we accept them in the first place, they stay with us until we finally turn them out of consciousness, in favor of the spiritual truth of our being.
God has abandoned no one. God never leaves us to the material mentality that says a burden is necessary to bear. God is always present to help, deliver, protect, and provide, throughout eternity, for Its children. No one, individual family member or friend is always the answer to another's prayer; God is the answer. For, even if we are sent by Spirit, and may have a part to play in helping another, we are only the channel appointed by God…we're never the source of another's good.
Yes, we are to help others, out of love, when we can. But in helping others, God only expects from us what is in our hands to do, without harm to ourselves. I recently found this verse in the Bible, written by Paul the Apostle in his letter to the Corinthians concerning help to others: "For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality." (2 Corinthians 8: 13, 14, New King James Bible).
God is the Source for each and every one of us, no matter what our age or who we think we are materially. We are God's spiritual children, not the children of the flesh. When we realize the implications and all the truths that pertain to our spiritual inheritance of all good, we will loosen our materially produced burdens much faster—because they just don't belong to us and never did.