When the Burden Becomes the Gift

Posted November 22, 2023 by Theresa Miller

Categories: Featured, Sister Post, Theresa

“Why does my hair tangle so easily, mom?” She asks, frustrated. “It’s not fair!”

I silently pick away at the mat in the back of her head.

My seven-year-old daughter has had the burden of snarly hair since it grew beyond her shoulders. We’d often sit together on my bed while I’d pick away at the matted messes throughout her fine, long hair. It’s been a tedious process for one who has never wanted me to brush her hair or massage shampoo into her tender scalp. She has beautiful thick brown hair that most people would trade their own for, yet she only notices the burden. I can see how this scenario plays out in life. Beauty never comes without burdens.

“Mom, it’s like my snarls are my sin and my straight hair is God and we’re getting all of the sin out.”

All those snarls near her scalp tugging from different directions remind her of weeds that strangle the desired plant when not tended to. She sees the mess that is mixed with beauty, needing restored.

How clever of God to use a difficult moment to show her what sin can look like in our lives. Isn’t it true that God uses the hard and painful moments to show us our need for Him? Could this be the most Important reason to be thankful?

Our Savior promises, not the absence of trials, but his peace through them. 

Theresa Miller

Jesus reminds us in John 16:33 that this life does not come without burdens, however He has overcome every trial in this world. He is the way through our tangled mess.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 (NIV)

If we never recognize our need for Jesus, will we ever truly find our way through trials? They will come and go like the snarls forming in my daughter’s hair because sin exists in this world. Yet the problem of sin is met with the promise of our Savior. Our Savior promises, not the absence of trials, but his peace through them. 

I worked on those snarls the best I could, then took my daughter to her Aunt, a hairdresser, the next day for a fresh cut. Sometimes sin needs more than a little separating out. It needs a clean cut from our lives. It’s like removing the weight of sin when we’ve done all we can do and finally take it to Jesus. We walk away feeling lighter, don’t we?

My brave child walks away flipping her hair, feeling light-footed, like a brand new girl.

Sister, we cannot possibly comb through life’s matted mess on our own. But the good news is, we don’t have to! 

We have a Savior who is in the business of  restoring us to our intended beauty. Each one of us will come to realize this sooner or later; either sooner because we’ve known scarcity and Jesus is all we’ve ever had, or later because we’ve had much, yet have come to realize Jesus is all we really need. And if not these, we will know in the last days when at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10:11)  

We are not exempt from burdens in this life, but when we focus on the beauty rather than the burdens, we become more grateful. For it is the burdens that can lead us to peace and the fullness of life in Christ. Beauty does not come without burdens, yet our burdens can be the  gift that remind us of our need for Jesus.

I can’t think of a better reason to be grateful today and everyday, can you? 

Father, we thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to restore our tangled, matted mess to your original plan. Until that day when your victory is complete; when every tongue acknowledges your name; when every tear is wiped dry; when all things are made new—we rest in the peace you offer through your son, Jesus. Help us to continually seek you and trust that you are the way through each trial. In Jesus’ name, amen