Boulders and burdens

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was known as a master trickster and the most cunning of men. Eventually, the gods were so displeased with his craftiness and deceitfulness that they condemned him in the afterlife to push a huge boulder up a steep hill. The boulder was enchanted so that Sisyphus has never been able to complete the task: whenever he nears the top, the boulder always rolls back down, over and over again, endlessly, for all eternity.

That’s just a story, of course, but it’s an impression we can relate to. Doesn’t it sometimes feel like you are pushing a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down? Maybe it even rolls right over you on its way.

Fortunately, unlike Sisyphus, we have a way out of the discouraging cycle of expending a lot of effort with hardly any results to show, or getting stuck repeatedly in a difficult or unhealthy situation. The solution is found in God’s Word: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”1 “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”2

The first verse instructs us to let God bear the weight of our burdens instead of letting them wear us down and out. It’s a relief to know that we can depend on Him, but that doesn’t mean God is going to magically solve all our problems. He often wants us to grow and learn through the things that come our way; that’s where the second verse comes in.

Faith is what unlocks God’s ability both to help us with our burdens now and bring us to victory in the future. We know that we will reach the top of the hill and be able to move on. Nothing like poor Sisyphus, after all.

  1. Psalm 55:22 NIV
  2. James 1:12 NLT