There was an old concept back in the day that I heard farmers talk about regarding livestock and their own children. This was back when farmers actually lived on a farm year round and didn’t have homes in Florida and Arizona in the winter. They had to stay where they were because they had livestock to tend and care for all winter long. Anyway the old hands would say that when a calf was born they would have the young teenage boys go out to the barn and pick it up. They said if the boy did it everyday, when the animal was full grown they would be able to lift it up. It doesn’t seem logical or possible but the idea of incremental addition of weights in things like football training and other sports bear witness to results that are impressive. Being able to carry a 2200 lb steer around at the 4H Fair seems a little far fetched.
Yesterday the epistle lesson mentioned the fact that we can live with patience and endurance because God has promised us an inheritance with the saints in light. Paul prays in Colossians 1 that they may “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you (they) may have great endurance and patience.” The word translated as endurance is two Greek words stuck together; hypo – meaning “under” and “mone” which means to “abide” or “remain”. It is life under stress that causes a heavy weight to be born that causes strife and also a sense of the old cliché that “God never gives us more than we can bear but with the issue whatever it is He gives a way out”, so that we can bear it, or endure it. That is the gist of what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10 and it opens up all kinds of questions and of course reactions form the “glory” folks.
Images abound in my memory of old preachers that told me that that they did not bear anything. Everything was carried for them. Christ yoke was easy and Christ’ burden light and even the things that most people considered heavy burdens were light when turned over to the Christ. The stanza from the Hymn, “When Peace Like a River” is evocative – “my sins oh the bliss of this glorious thought, my sins not the part but the whole have been nailed to His cross and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord oh my soul”. If I no longer bear the weight of sin what is the this business about endurance in the New Testament and why does it matter” Why am I abiding under pressure when the pressure is off.