The Burden Bearer
- Format: Folded Tract For Believers
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5" x 5.5"
- Pages: 4
- Version: KJV
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The full text of this tract for believers is shown below in the KJV version.
Somewhere I read a parable, the exact details of which have faded from my memory. At the time of reading it, a deep impression was made on my mind, and its main thought I have often recalled with delight and refreshment. It ran something like this:
A man had a vision in which he saw a multitude of people bearing burdens which it greatly afflicted him to behold. Strong men were bowed down under heavy loads, fragile women were staggering under burdens, even children were weighed down. All classes of people were represented, toiling and staggering under heavy burdens.
The dreamer thought he saw the Lord, and to his utter amazement, He was busily employed in increasing the burdens. Still the burdened ones toiled on, ready to drop, but not quite. Still the Lord added to their burdens again and again, till, at last, the man’s curiosity and surprise could be restrained no longer.
He inquired of the Lord why He was adding to the burdens and distresses of those he saw. The reply was: “I am adding to their burdens until they cannot do without Me any longer, and then I will carry both them and their burdens.”
I kept for nearly a year, the flask-shaped cocoon of an Emperor moth. It is very peculiar in its construction. A narrow opening is left in the neck of the flask, through which the perfect insect forces its way, so that a forsaken cocoon is as entire as one tenanted, no rupture of the interlacing fibers having taken place. The great disproportion between the means of egress and the size of the prisoned insect, makes one wonder how the exit is ever accomplished at all, and it never is without great labor and difficulty. It is supposed that the pressure to which the moth’s body is subjected in passing through the narrow opening is a provision of nature for forcing the juices into vessels of the wings, these being less developed at the period of emergence from the chrysalis that they are in other insects.
I happened to witness the first efforts of my imprisoned moth to escape from its long confinement. Nearly a whole afternoon, from time to time, I watched it patiently striving and struggling to get out. It never seemed able to get beyond a certain point, and at last my patience was exhausted. Acting as though I was wiser and more compassionate than its Maker, I resolved to give it a helping hand. With the points of my scissors, I snipped the confining threads to make the exit just a very little easier, and lo! immediately, and with perfect ease, out came my moth, dragging a shrunken body and little shrivelled wings. In vain I watched to see that marvelous progress of expansion in which the wings silently and swiftly develop before your eyes, and as I traced the exquisite spots and working of diverse colors, which were all there in miniature, I longed to see these assume their due proportion, and to see the creature appear in all its perfect beauty, as in truth it is one of the loveliest of its kind.
But I looked in vain. My false tenderness had proved its ruin. It was never able to do anything but crawl painfully through its brief life, which it should have spent flying the air on rainbow wings.
The lesson I got that day has often stood me in good stead. It has helped me to understand what the Germans call “the hardness of God’s love.” I have thought of it often when watching, with pitying eyes, those who were struggling with sorrows, suffering or distress, and it has seemed to me that I was more merciful than God, and I would gladly have cut short the discipline, and given deliverance. Short-sighted fool! How do I know that these pains and groans can be spared? The far-sighted, perfect love of God, which seeks the perfection of its object, does not weakly shrink from present transient suffering. Our Father’s love is too true to be weak. Because He loves His children, He chastens them, that they may be “partakers of His holiness.” With this glorious end in view, He spares not for their crying. “Made perfect through suffering.” As Christ was, the sons of God are trained up to obedience, and must be brought to glory “through much tribulation.”
“I would hasten my escape” (Psalm 55:8).
“All the days of my appointed time will I wait” (Job 14:14).
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11).
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