Remember the last time you carried something heavy? You want each step to be your last so you can set down whatever you were carrying. Or, if you were carrying it for exercise, you were thinking about how much stronger you’d be after this. Either way, I’m betting you didn’t enjoy carrying it. Even if you were holding a baby (and all the women went, “Awwww…”), that bundle of joy and drool would get heavy. We don’t like carrying things.
So why then do we so often insist on carrying our gods?
Isaiah 46 talks about the uselessness of idols, telling how people would weigh out silver and gold, then take it to the goldsmith, who would fashion a god from it. Then they’d bear that god on their shoulders back to their home or temple and set it on a base, from which it wouldn’t move.
Why worship a god that can’t even move? What good is a god whom you have to carry?
People don’t worship Babylonian gods anymore, but we make gods out of money, relationships, sex, and jobs. Money can get you out of some trouble, but only be decreasing your store of it. And it can be useless when you have certain diseases or are suffering heartbreak. Plus, making lots of it requires sacrifices of your time and potentially of your health. Also, if gods are supposed to be above us, why make a god of something you have control over?
Some people stay in damaging relationships because they’re afraid of being alone. Others give their hearts away readily only to get them broken time after time. Those in relationships often base their worth on what their partner thinks of them. While your spouse should be with you in hard times, there is only so much they can do and they can and will let you down at times. Sex and jobs likewise have high potential costs.
In all of them, there is a trade. You give up time to make money so you can buy a nice home, so time = home. Or you sleep with someone knowing there’s a chance of pregnancy, which may not be desirable just yet, or disease, so sex means a risk.
With God, there is no risk, even though there is far more to lose.
God’s not very good at this whole fair trade thing. He gives His Son for dirt that He had given life to, dirt that He’d created with just a word and could easily create more if He wanted. He forgives us our sins against Him if we forgive others’ sins against us. He offers us the eternal paradise of Heaven for believing in Him and knowing Him. And, as if that’s not enough, He patiently works with us every day to get us to be more like Him. That may sound like something we’re giving up because it means the changing of certain habits for a lot of us, but He gives us far more in the peace of knowing and trusting Him. Yes, you may be called to give up possessions, career, and even your life, but for a surer hope than your possessions, a life calling, and eternal life, what a deal!
Our God is dynamic. Omnipotent. He carries us when we’re weak, lightening our burden rather than becoming one Himself. And you will never have to carry Him.