God Lifts our Burdens
Story by husband Ron
Events in 1977
I wish you could have all been along that afternoon in southern
Mexico. It was a beautiful day and there is nothing better than a
good lunch and then a nature hike after church.
My wife and I were in the middle of a year of
volunteer work in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico. We had driven an
old Chevy Nova down there, so we were able to occasionally get
away. We had found some other young 'gringos' up in the mountains
of Chiapas and spent most of our available weekends with them.
This time, we went with them to a church that
they had helped to build. It was in a very pretty mountain valley.
It seated about 300 people and was a great new addition to the
local ministry. While they had been there with the building
project, they had found this place to hike and wanted to show it
We parked at the end of a road and started
off over a flat area. Being the nosy naturalist that I am, I soon
found a flat rock to turn over. Under it was a mother scorpion
with a back full of tiny babies. She looked like a little wind-up
toy. She scuttled around looking for cover.
Soon we came to the edge of a deep ravine. At
one end of the ravine was a waterfall. There was about a quarter
mile where the river ran fairly level and then went over another
waterfall. It was a perfect place to explore.
On the steep climb down the ravine, it was
amazing to see that this side of the steep bank was actually a
farm. It was so steep that if you stood straight up, you could
almost touch the ground just by stretching out your hand. But, the
hard working farmers had cleared it and had planted corn there.
When we got to the river, it was plain to see
that the good exploring was on the other side of the river. There
was a place where there was a rock about six feet tall. At the
base of the rock, the river was pressed into a narrow channel. At
that point we were able to jump across.
On the other side, there was a large flat
bedrock area. On the edge of it the other side of the ravine was a
steep cliff. It was covered with trees, moss and ferns. In the
trees and rocks were orchids
and bromeliads. It was an amazing place.
There were also many large yellow and brown
butterflies. They were flying all over the area. The waterfall had
a fairly large grotto that had been carved out under it behind the
water. I later found out that there were hundreds of the
butterflies hanging upside down from the roof of that grotto.
We spent several hours there enjoying the
nature. Then it was time to get back across the river. It was at
that point that I found out that the only way back was a narrow
path at the back of the grotto.
At the far end of that path, the roof of the
grotto came down within about 3 feet of the path. One one side of
the path was solid rock. The other side was a thick wall of brush
and small trees.
The big problem is that I am a lot bigger
than the people that normally use that path! I'm about 6'3".
I had a friend that also worked at the hospital. He was an average
Mexican size. When we walked around together, the people called
him David and they called me Goliath!
When I came to that low spot, I had to get
down to a low crawl. I was the last one through. I got down as far
as I could and got through there.
When I came out the other side, my wife took
one look at me and asked me, "What happened?"
I was very pale and very shaky. It was
obvious just by looking at me that something had affected me
terribly. What had happened is that when I passed a particularly
low spot, I had brushed up against the overhanging rock with my
back. Then, when I came down lower again, the rock came with me!
I can't remember a moment of greater panic! I
was at the bottom of a tall cliff of rock and I could just imagine
the whole cliff coming down on top of me. You can imagine that I
immediately shook that rock off my back as fast as I could. The
rest of the track went bye in a blur and I was out!
I've thought about that afternoon often since
then. For several reasons...
It is a pleasure to remember the beautiful
time that we had there enjoying the beauties of nature that God
created for us to enjoy.
I also remember the feeling of that large
rock coming down on my back. That has made me think of the way the
Bible describes the load of sin that we each carry. If only I had
the sense of urgency to get rid of the sin - the same sense of
urgency that I had getting rid of that rock!
How fast would I be running to the cross,
crying for God to take my burden of sin if I was sensitive to my
I pray that we will be less willing to carry
our sins around. The cliff of sin above us is ready to crush us.
We must get out from under it or it will kill us. Let's pray that
we are not content to carry that burden around any longer.