God Lifts our Burdens

Jan 31 22:00 2003 Ron McCluskey Print This Article

God Lifts our ... I wish you could have all been along that ... in southern Mexico. It was ... day and there is nothing bett

God Lifts our Burdens

I wish you could have all been along that afternoon in southern Mexico. It was a
beautiful day and there is nothing better than a good lunch and then a nature hike
after church.

My wife and I were in the middle of a year of volunteer work in Villahermosa,Guest Posting
Tabasco, Mexico. We had driven an old Chevy Nova down there, so we were
able to occasionally get away. We had found some other young 'gringos' up
in the mountains of Chiapas and spent most of our available weekends with them.

This time, we went with them to a church that they had helped to build. It was in
a very pretty mountain valley. It seated about 300 people and was a great
new addition to the local ministry. While they had been there with the building
project, they had found this place to hike and wanted to show it to us.

We parked at the end of a road and started off over a flat area. Being the
nosy naturalist that I am, I soon found a flat rock to turn over. Under it was a
mother scorpion with a back full of tiny babies. She looked like a little wind-up
toy. She scuttled around looking for cover.

Soon we came to the edge of a deep ravine. At one end of the ravine was a
waterfall. There was about a quarter mile where the river ran fairly level and
then went over another waterfall. It was a perfect place to explore.

On the steep climb down the ravine, it was amazing to see that this side of the
steep bank was actually a farm. It was so steep that if you stood straight up,
you could almost touch the ground just by stretching out your hand. But,
the hard working farmers had cleared it and had planted corn there.

When we got to the river, it was plain to see that the good exploring was on
the other side of the river. There was a place where there was a rock about
six feet tall. At the base of the rock, the river was pressed into a narrow
channel. At that point we were able to jump across.

On the other side, there was a large flat bedrock area. On the edge of it the
other side of the ravine was a steep cliff. It was covered with trees, moss
and ferns. In the trees and rocks were orchids and bromeliads. It was an
amazing place.

There were also many large yellow and brown butterflies. They were
flying all over the area. The waterfall had a fairly large grotto that had
been carved out under it behind the water. I later found out that there
were hundreds of the butterflies hanging upside down from the roof
of that grotto.

We spent several hours there enjoying the nature. Then it was time to
get back across the river. It was at that point that I found out that the
only way back was a narrow path at the back of the grotto.

At the far end of that path, the roof of the grotto came down within
about 3 feet of the path. One one side of the path was solid rock.
The other side was a thick wall of brush and small trees.

The big problem is that I am a lot bigger than the people that normally
use that path! I'm about 6'3". I had a friend that also worked at the
hospital. He was an average Mexican size. When we walked around
together, the people called him David and they called me Goliath!

When I came to that low spot, I had to get down to a low crawl. I was
the last one through. I got down as far as I could and got through there.

When I came out the other side, my wife took one look at me and
asked me, "What happened?"

I was very pale and very shaky. It was obvious just by looking at me
that something had affected me terribly. What had happened is that
when I passed a particularly low spot, I had brushed up against the
overhanging rock with my back. Then, when I came down lower again,
the rock came with me!

I can't remember a moment of greater panic! I was at the bottom of
a tall cliff of rock and I could just imagine the whole cliff coming
down on top of me. You can imagine that I immediately shook that
rock off my back as fast as I could. The rest of the track went bye
in a blur and I was out!

I've thought about that afternoon often since then. For several reasons...
It is a pleasure to remember the beautiful time that we had there
enjoying the beauties of nature that God created for us to enjoy.

I also remember the feeling of that large rock coming down on my
back. That has made me think of the way the Bible describes the
load of sin that we each carry. If only I had the sense of urgency
to get rid of the sin - the same sense of urgency that I had getting
rid of that rock!

How fast would I be running to the cross, crying for God to take
my burden of sin if I was sensitive to my need.

I pray that we will be less willing to carry our sins around. The cliff
of sin above us is ready to crush us. We must get out from under it
or it will kill us. Let's pray that we are not content to carry that
burden around any longer.

Until next week, may God bless.
Ron McCluskey


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About Article Author

Ron McCluskey
Ron McCluskey

Ron McCluskey is an emergency room physician and amateur naturalist. Growing up, he studied insects and birds. While he continues to enjoy studying these natural subjects, his interest has grown to include the rest of creation as well.
He has spent over a year doing volunteer work in tropical countries. While there he enjoyed seeing how God's creation gives ample evidence of His intimate knowledge and care for His nature.

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