I’m not sure how this phrase became so widely popularized because it’s not even remotely true. God often gives us more than we can carry, and the weight of our daily burdens routinely threatens to crush us.
- Moses said, “I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.” (Numbers 11:14)
- Solomon said, “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.” (1 Kings 3:7)
- Even Jesus famously said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me…” (Luke 22:41)
You and I will most definitely receive burdens beyond our ability to bear, and we will need help. That’s why Paul exhorted us to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). We need burden-bearing friends, and we need a God who stoops to lift us up. However, it is crucial to realize that sometimes we won’t recognize God’s sustaining power in our life until after the burden has been successfully borne.
The popular poem “Footprints” has long contributed to the idea of God carrying us through our tough times, but it’s worth noting that the author of the poem didn’t realize she was being carried at the time. As she reviewed her seasons of seeming abandonment from God, she declared, “This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow, or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints…why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “It was then that I carried you.”
I wonder if today you’re being carried without even realizing it.