How do you deal with heavy burdens? Henri Nouwen, a Christian mystic, shared this experience of a time when he was carrying multiple burdens. In his book, A Spirituality of Homecoming, he wrote about a time where he was depressed about everything and while lecturing in Arizona, visited the Grand Canyon. There, he said, “I saw this multimillion-year-old canyon and its place in an even older creation and thought that if that whole time period were represented by one hour, then I probably was born in a tiny fraction of the last second. Looking at the Grand Canyon, this enormous abyss of beauty, I thought, ‘My dear, why are you overcome by these problems?’ My depression fell away. In the face of all this, what are you worried about, as if you were carrying the burden of the world? Something has gone on before you and something will go on after you, so why don’t you enjoy the brief time you’ve been given?”
For Nouwen, seeing the Grand Canyon was like seeing a wound in the earth. For him, just seeing the enormity of the Grand Canyon and walking around it was like entering the vastness of God’s divine love. He realized he could acknowledge his burdens and not be paralyzed by them.
I don’t know if you are carrying heavy burdens or if you have ever visited the Grand Canyon. The real remedy for our burdens is the love God. When I find myself in the same place as Nouwen, I think on two verses:
Cast your cares on him, he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
Come all who are weary and heavy burden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
I invite you to read the Bible with me – This week’s reading: