As such, it was excellent for riding on long trips, especially up and down the expressway. But with a bed of a mere 5 feet, it was absolutely abysmal for hauling things!
By contrast, about this time, my father-in-law gave me his 20 year old F-150, which was a single cab with absolutely zero frills. Everything it had was manual, including its window cranks and door locks, along with the world’s most basic AM/FM radio.
But it also had an 8 foot bed. And when the tailgate was down, it stretched out 2 more feet, to a full 10 feet! Translation: you can haul absolutely anything in that rascal!
Long story short… it did not take me long at all to realize that the truck I really needed to part with was my own luxury show truck. And the one I really needed to keep was the other one given to me by my father-in-law – the 20 year old basic one designed, not for show, but purely for work!
Later on, I heard the story of when and how my father-in-law had first bought that truck. He had gone to the local Ford dealership and told them he was there to buy a truck. He was prepared to pay cash; but he wanted nothing fancy, and with no extras. All he wanted was a truck that would carry a load, and would not quit! It seems he got just what he bargained for. (To his credit, he cared far less about his truck’s level of comfort, and far more about its level of productivity!)
Not surprisingly, these days, I no longer drive a late model “Platinum” F-150. Instead, I now drive a 22 year old basic work truck. And I do so proudly and confidently as I literally haul any and every thing I have need to haul. (In short, I too now care far less about my truck’s level of comfort, and far more about my truck’s level of productivity.)
However, I have recently come to understand that my newfound 20 year old F-150 truck does has one basic shortcoming. Particularly when it is raining, but even when it is not, it literally begs to carry a load. Why do I say this? Because, with such a long wheel base, whenever it finds itself without a sufficient load to carry, it will actually tend to spin its back wheels for lack of traction. You see, it literally needs to bear a burden, as the extra weight helps its rear wheels to "obtain purchase" and move it forward. If not, it will invariably fail to perform as well as it was designed!
I share this as a word of encouragement for those of you currently carrying some form of burden or burdens. No doubt that includes each and every reader of this blog post. After all, whether we like it or not, burdens are a part of life. Let’s face it, more often than we prefer, we all find ourselves loaded down with the unwanted weight of some heavy, and often difficult, load that we are forced to bear.
Can you relate? If you are honest, I believe you will say yes. For burden-bearing is simply a part of life.
But maybe that is okay. Maybe, just maybe, a little bearing a burden helps to give us traction in life. And maybe, just maybe, we actually perform a little better when we are forced to carry a load in life!
As I look back over my life, I can recall many a load I have been forced to carry. Some were for short periods; while others were of lengthy duration. Either way, at the time, I found no joy in the task.
But nowadays, upon reflection, I can see that I was far better served for having born the burden than not. For ironically, it may well have been that whatever burden or burdens I happened to have been bearing at the time may just have been what kept me grounded. It was also very likely what kept me going forward and resulted in my making progress!
For these reasons, I find myself increasingly thanking God for all such burdens. No doubt, each one was ultimately for my benefit and His glory. In every case, He did for me as He did for Isaiah of old, who testified (in chapter 40, verse 29): “He gave strength to me, the weary, and increased the power for me, the weak.”
And as I managed to bear each successive burden, I came to appreciate and value the affirmation of the Apostle Paul, who famously told the Philippians (in chapter 4, verse 13) of his New Testament Letter addressed to them: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
And so, my friend, no matter what burden (or burdens) you are currently carrying in your life, I encourage you to find some way to be thankful for it (or them). And if it (or they) seem(s) a bit too big to carry, then simply put your trust in God. Remember what He promised us through the Psalmist (in chapter 55, verse 22) when He said: “Turn your burdens over to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will never let the righteous person stumble.”
If you do this, He will surely prove Himself true! And once He does, you will have yet another burden – the burden of proof!