We have all been in the drill-the fire drill. Whether in the past as a student, recently as an employee or in some other venue we have been told that an alarm is going to go off and a drill will be performed. Today the drills have expanded all in the effort to be prepared for an emergency. Experience teaches quickly that you cannot prepare on the spot for what you are facing at the moment. To be a prepared person in every area of life is to intentionally seek prior-preparation.
As Christians our trust can never be in our schemes to be prepared for all scenarios. We must prepare but we must trust in God for protection not our preparedness. If being prepared is important in life do you think it is important for your walk with God in life? Many of the things that we face daily are circumstances that do not allow for a premeditated response. Circumstances in life are often like driving down the road and simultaneously dealing with cars coming in and out of your lane. When a car cuts in front of you, there is a response of instinct not of premeditation. Do you remember the last time your schedule was turned up-side down on a moment’s notice? Or you got a call about an emergency involving a loved-one? You responded to that situation immediately, but you did not premeditate that response. Your response revealed who you are and it revealed how prepared spiritually you were for such a circumstance.
As disciples of Jesus our preparedness for such situations is not about knowing which door to take or which meeting place to convene at. Being spiritually prepared is about having a mind that has been progressively transformed freshly renewed by God’s Word such that when something happens a response comes from you that is pleasing to God.
There are many ways that as Christians we can be preparing ourselves by God’s grace for life’s “curve balls.” Personally, this involves praying certain verses nearly every day. And one of those verses is Psalm 68:19:
Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation.
Why do I pray through this verse nearly every day? Because I know that there are five facts in that verse that will prepare me by conditioning my mind for whatever might take place in a given day.
First, this verse acknowledges the obvious about most days of life in this world: There will be burdens. In other words, by praying this verse daily I am taken out of a fantasy world that I can sometimes slip into and put back into reality. If we are not aware of the fact that this life is never going to provide full satisfaction and that this world is always going to be intersecting with difficulties, pain and loss then we will worship a fantasy world that has no pain, suffering, loss or inconveniences. And sadly, when such things do show up contradicting our fantasy world, we will sinfully react to that circumstance because our fantasy idol has been toppled over. Mark it down, days in this sinned cursed world are often filled with loads that have to be carried, burdens. Such talk is not fantasy, but reality.
Second, this verse reminds me that there is reason to bless God in a world where there are burdens to be carried. The Psalmist is calling attention to the blessedness of the Lord all the while acknowledging that there are burdens to carry. How can he do that? Because of what He knows about God in relationship to those burdens. He knows certain truths about God that truly are good and that call for praise from him even though burdens are coming his way. This helps to remind me that it is always the right time to be calling attention to the Lord’s blessedness even when there are burdens that are facing me.
Third, this verse reminds me that I am not alone when facing the burdens of life. In fact, that is an understatement. Not only am I not alone and no true believer in Jesus is, but God is there with me and is actually bearing my burdens. You see, the very same Hebrew word translated “burdens” is also translated “bears” in this verse. In other words, daily we have burdens, but God is there to bear those burdens for us. Elsewhere David exhorts God’s people: Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you (Psalm 55:22). This verse reminds me that God is with me and enables me by inviting me to cast that burden upon Him. Sometimes you will hear it said that God will not give you more than you can handle-that is not true. God often gives you more than you can handle so that you must cast it on Him and stop trusting in yourself. As you trust in Him and His ability when facing the burden then you can handle it, not in yourself, but in Him.
Fourth, this verse reminds me that God is there to daily carry the burden as I trust in Him. There is never a day in the life of a believer where this is not true. God daily bears our burdens as we cast them upon Him. If we ever feel that He is not there it is because we have not truly cast the burden upon Him. We may be going through the motions of casting, but we have not truly let it go to Him, for if we had we would see again that He daily bears our burdens.
Fifth, this verse reminds me that God is my salvation. I need to be reminded about that because if left to myself I think I am my own savior. I would not say it that way, but I easily slip into living that falsehood out. When I do not trust to the Lord with that burden I am acting as if I am my own savior. And what an impotent pathetic savior I am. It would be more accurate to say I am my own undoing when I do not trust in Him who daily bears my burdens. This simply reminds me that my hope on that particular day is not my ability to bear the burdens, but His ability. He is the Savior, I am the one in need of saving.
This is just one verse that I find hugely helpful to briefly soak in every day. Do you have any passages like that which you use for emergency preparedness? The Bible is full of such treasure troves. Start digging, start using and start being prepared.