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Excerpt & Prayer Calendar for October 2018

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The Excerpt & Prayer Calendar for October 2018

 – Grouch No More – By Andrea Sandford-Bareither

(Andrea is Mark’s youngest sister)

…”Barbara the burden bearer shares some things in common with Oscar. As a highly sensitive, emphatic person she may be loaded down with other people’s garbage, hiding inside her can where she feels protected, perhaps even barking in irritation at the people around her, like the infamous Grouch. She may be comfortable there because it’s familiar, it seems safe, or it feeds her identity in some defiled way. Being surrounded by the community trash has a way of making one grumpy and reclusive. But Barbara isn’t meant to be an Oscar the Grouch. She’s meant to be a princess, a daughter of the King.
I have a friend who is working through her can full of trash, like Oscar. God, in His wonderful creativity, showed her an image of her burden-bearing nature. A trash can with a wide opening at the top for receiving burdens, and a small opening at the bottom for releasing them. She simply couldn’t offload them quickly enough to keep them from piling up. So she spent her life feeling overwhelmed by the weight of empathy, intercession, and the compulsion to fix things for people. Fortunately for this friend, the Lord is showing her the secret motivations of her heart that have kept the burdens flooding in, but trickling out. He is revealing through His great love the reasons that taking on other people’s burdens has fed into her sense of value and identity. As she offloads those burdens to the cross where they belong, it is allowing clarity to see herself more clearly – to discover who she is truly designed to be. It is setting her free to love and to be loved, in purity.

“Highly sensitive,” “burden bearing,” “extreme empathy,” whatever you want to call it – simply put, you feel deeply, you hurt, and you don’t know what to do about it.

Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5)…”

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