Ever hung a millstone or a yoke around your neck? Not likely on purpose. Neither have I, but life throws upheaval that catches us around the shoulders, slinging weights and mimicking a millstone or yoke. Job loss, health concerns, relationship strains, family responsibility, bills, hunger. There are so many ways to experience the pressure and weight of a situation.
One of my spiritual gifts is compassion, which means I often feel what another person is going through. That millstone becomes a physical disturbance:
It’s painful beyond description. My back and my neck ache all the way to the bone. My shoulders curl and threaten to crumple under the pressure. My head throbs, my eyes bulge, my chest heaves. Nausea roils my stomach. Before long, my nose and forehead scrape the rough wooden planks of the floor beneath me. Emotionally, my heart caves. My thoughts are dark and relentless. There is no way out. No light. No air. I can’t breathe. Hot tears burn my eyes and my throat closes.
It takes everything I have to remember the truth. I confess it out loud, over and over, until it seeps in and becomes real. “But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.” (Psalm 3:3)
And then Someone lifts the millstone. He anchors me, straightening my back, shoulders, neck. He wipes the tears from my cheeks. With His gentle and insistent touch, I stand. His fingers tip my chin, lifting my head. Bright light shines, sweet air fills my lungs, and I see the way out.
God is the lifter of my head.
Whatever weight is hanging around your neck like a millstone, remember the Lifter of your head. Take a few minutes to turn it all over to Him. Ask Him to take the burden and help you stand. And when the burden threatens to come back, repeat the truth.
Speak up! Does it lighten your load to know that God lifts your head?