Sunday, June 5, 2011

Feet Firmly Planted

Just before I left for Ethiopia, our pastor told this story of an Indian tribe facing seeming insurmountable odds:

The tribe had been fighting for survival against another more aggressive and violent tribe. One night, after many of their men had been killed in battle, it became clear to them that they must move on and seek safety or their women and children would surely be killed along with the rest of the warriors at day break.

The problem was that in order for them to escape, they would have to cross the river that was nearing flood levels-a task that had never been successfully accomplished with the waters running so high. With no other choice, the warriors made the decision to attempt to cross the river that night. Knowing that not even the strongest man had ever made it across, they knew that it would be impossible for the women and children. So, the warriors decided to carry them on their shoulders hoping to be able to carry them to safety and find refuge from their enemy on the other side.

An amazing thing happened.

Because the men were carrying an extra load, their feet became firmly planted on the ground. Because of the weight from the women and children on their shoulders, the warriors were able to solidly step across the river bed to dry land.

This illustration immediately stuck with me and I've gone back to the imagery and the message of this story many times over the past few weeks. It is such a good description of what carrying the burden of others does for us. When we are willing to be "burdened" or to have a heart for others in need, it helps to plant our feet on solid ground.

I've returned from my trip to Ethiopia with a renewed burden for the people there and particularly for my friends at Trees of Glory. There is much to be done there and I look forward to working to help kids like Meseret, our sponsor child, have a brighter future and know that they are loved by God and his followers.

May we all be burdened in such a way that our feet are firmly planted on a path that follows more closely after Jesus.

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