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Still the best Illustration of grace

Years ago I heard a message from my friend JoAnn Hummel that I've never forgotten. I used it speaking at my daughter's church in Colorado this week and found it hasn't lost it's power. JoAnn heard it from Dottie Connor, Women's Advisor at Dallas Theological Seminary back when we were student's in the 80's. You can find it at Gracestoration Ministries (www.gracestoration. org) Enjoy. 

A Traveler was walking down the road laboring under the heavy burden he was carrying on his back. Along came a man with a horse-drawn cart. Pulling alongside the Traveler, the cart driver said, "Sir, I see that you are carrying a heavy load and that it makes you weary. Wouldn't you rather ride in my cart than carry that heavy burden?"

"Yes," the Traveler said as he got into the cart, "Now I will no longer have to walk with this burden." A little further down the road the cart driver looked behind him and was quite astonished to see the Traveler sitting in the cart still carrying his burden, held tightly on his back.

"Sir, why do you still bend under the weight of your burden when you could simply set it down?' he asked. "You have helped me so much already," said the Traveler, "I would not want to impose on you any further."

"But don't you see," replied the cart driver, "it would not be an imposition on me for you to put your burden down. Look at my horse; he is strong and willing. He was made to carry heavy burdens. Besides, both of you are now carrying your load, yet my horse will carry your load whether you do or not! So please put your burden down or you will wear yourself out and make my horse feel unappreciated."

Sometimes I find myself carrying the burdens of my life that Jesus saved me to carry. Are you weary from the burdens of life that you were never meant to carry? Have you trusted in God's grace for your salvation but now you're attempting to live the Christian life in your own strength? If so, determine why and stop it! Just a life-giving word from me to you.

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Sue Edwards

Dr. Edwards is Assistant Professor of Christian Education (Specialization: Women's Studies) at Dallas Theological Seminary and holds degrees from Trinity University, DTS, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She is the author of New Doors in Ministry to Women, A Fresh Model for Transforming Your Church, Campus, or Mission Field and Women's Retreats, A Creative Planning Guide. She has 30 years experience in Bible teaching, directing women's ministry, retreat and conference speaking, training teams and teachers, and writing curriculum. Married to David for 34 years, she especially enjoys extended family gatherings and romping with her four grandchildren.