I am one of eleven children.  Since I was born first, I have the position of oldest of the eleven.  For you who have explored the birth order exposés, you know what that means.  I think I’m in charge, I believe I’m important, and I am responsible.  I’ve spent the better part of my adult life trying to avoid being in charge and responsible yet inevitably winding up in charge and the responsible one.  It’s a plague!  My wife calls me a reluctant leader.  Anyway, unless you share this dubious family position, it’s hard to explain the burden and the pressure the position affords.  Sunday during our worship time at church, Jesus walked me through a progression that altered my perception and lifted the burden of this positional quandary.

As I began to worship, I raised my hands palm up to take a position of surrender.  I really wanted to maintain this position, but the weight of my arms was countering my desire.  Then I felt encouraged to turn my hands over.  I envisioned Jesus placing his hands under mine and holding up my arms.  I actually felt the weight of holding up my arms lessen.  I entered deeper into this vision experiencing the rest and wonder of it all.  Jesus then spoke to me, “You don’t have to carry the burden; I am with you. You are not the oldest; I am.”(See Romans 8:29)

From these moments with the Lord, I came away feeling lighter and relieved.  I have spent this week reciting to myself, “I’m not the firstborn!”  So this scripture that I’ve wrestled with most of my Christian walk has again proven true.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus is the firstborn!

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