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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Today's Hymn

Of the Father’s love begotten,
ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega;
he the source, the ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see,
evermore and evermore!

By his Word was all created;
he commanded; it was done:
heaven and earth and depths of ocean,
universe of three in one,
all that sees the moon’s soft shining,
all that breathes beneath the sun,
evermore and evermore!

O, that birth forever blessed
when the Virgin, full of grace,
by the Holy Ghost conceiving,
bore the Savior of our race,
and the babe, the world’s Redeemer,
first revealed his sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

Aurelius Clemens Prudentius’s “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”
(tune: Divinum Mysterium)
trans. John Mason Neale and Henry Williams Baker
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

I never agreed with the statement that “God would not give you more than you can bear.” Stay with me. Too often I’ve heard it during times of adversity or stress and I felt it was simply unhelpful. For anyone suffering from stress due to work, family, illness, or even general anxiety, they can feel as though their suffering is too much to bear. Hearing this phrase led me to question my qualifications as a Christian, my understanding of the Bible, and ultimately to believe that I had to resolve my suffering on my own.

The truth is that life can at times be far more than any individual alone can bear. That is, in part, why God gave humanity the ability to develop healing medicines and a sense of family and community. We should not look to ourselves alone for release from burdens; ultimately we should look to God for help and hope. The message in this hymn conveys God’s power, love, and majesty. These elements are infinite. When burdens become more than we can bear, remember to lean on God’s infinite power to see us through.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, you are not weak physically, mentally, or spiritually. You are human. Ask God to give you the discernment, willpower, and strength to endure and overcome your suffering.

Lord, I humbly ask you to help me bear my burdens, seek help wherever available, and rely on you to see me through. Amen.

Written by Cornell Wilson, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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