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The Burden We Must Bear

by Shayla Asselin

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

Romans 9:1-2

Since July of last year, my heart has been longing a little extra for Heaven. Meeting Jesus, being reunited with family, and leaving this sin-cursed world behind excites me and gives me the strength to face each day.

Recently, I was talking with some people about Heaven and how ready we were for Jesus to come back when someone said, “I hope He doesn’t come back just yet.” A little perplexed, I paused to see where she was headed with that comment. With an urgency in her voice, she went on to explain that she had some lost family members that needed to be saved. The heartbreaking possibility of an eternity without some of our family members and friends hovered over the remainder of our conversation.

I’m probably not the only one who has heard or even prayed the following prayer: “Lord, awaken the sinner from their sleep. Disrupt their lives. Let conviction overshadow everything they do.” Even though I understand the sentiment, my prayer, ever since that conversation, has been different. I pray that I am the one God awakes from my sleep with a burden for my lost loved ones. I pray I am the one whose life is disrupted. I want a burden that drives me to my knees in prayer and pushes the plate back.

A burden for the lost will require sincerity, sorrow, and sacrifice. “The powerful soul winner and founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, was once asked, ‘Do you think you have the best training program to teach people how to witness for Jesus Christ and win souls to Jesus?’ “William Booth replied, ‘No, I don’t think my methods are the best methods. I think the best method of giving people a burden for lost souls would be to take them to the devil’s hell and allow them to experience what it is to be lost in hell, separated from God for an eternity in the fire that could never be quenched. Then I believe men would truly have a burden and know what it is to be soul-winners, because they would see what it is to be lost.'”

Last Saturday, I read the book of Revelation. While my soul rejoiced at the hope of heaven, my heart hurt so deeply at the sorrows awaiting those who refuse the salvation of the Lord. The thought of losing even just one of my family members and friends to Hell haunts me. It’s 2:00 AM as I am writing this with tears in my eyes. Jesus is coming back and some of my family isn't ready.

Dear Lord, awaken a passion in me for the souls You died to save.

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