Leave it there

Charles Albert Tindley (1851 – 1933) was born to a father who was a slave and a mother who was a free woman. His mother died when he was two and he was hired out to work when he was seven. He never had the opportunity to attend school, but taught himself to read in his teens. He became janitor of a Methodist church in Philadelphia, learned Hebrew from a rabbi and studied Greek by correspondence. He became a Methodist minister and after a few years became pastor of the church where he had been janitor.

That congregation had a membership of 130 when he arrived and grew to become an interracial congregation of 10,000 members by the time of his death. He was a notable preacher and also a notable songwriter, considered one of the founding fathers of American gospel music. Forty-six of his hymns, for which he wrote both the words and music, were published.

One day a heavily burdened member of his congregation came to visit him. Mr. Tindley listened as the man recounted all his woes, then said: “What I want you to do is go home, find yourself a big sack, stuff all your burdens into that sack, take it to the Lord - and leave it there.”

After the man left, Tindley pondered on the visit, then wrote the words and music of one of his best known hymns:

If the world from you withhold of its silver and its gold,
And you have to get along with meager fare,
Just remember, in His Word, how he feeds the little bird;
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

Leave it there, leave it there,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there;
If you trust and never doubt, He will surey bring you out,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

All who who put their trust in Jesus Christ know that we need to take our burdens to the Lord and allow him to take care of them. But, we are so emotionally attached to our anxieties that it is difficult to say good-bye.

Nevertheless, we find a healing balm applied to us when we let go, trust, and never doubt.

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