Sometimes in life the weight you are trying to lift is too heavy: the stress of a new job, the illness of your spouse, another late notice from the bank. Alone we often just cannot accomplish all that is asked of us, nor should we have to in most cases.
Long ago, probably either the Greek’s or Roman’s invented a way to increase a person’s strength by the use of a rope and pulley system. In reality, a person using a pulley (block and tackle) doesn’t get stronger; the weight of the item being lifted appears to shrink. Looping a rope over one pulley and then attaching the loose end of the rope to the object being lifted changes the direction of the force, but doesn’t reduce the effort to lift it. So in effect a 100 pound ball feels like 100 pounds when only using one pulley.However, adding another pulley does reduce the effort by 50% so a 100 pound box feels like 50 pounds.
Adding more rope and pulley’s reduced the effort to lift an object even further. In the picture to the left, three pulleys reduce effective weight of the 100 pound box to 33 pounds. The more pulleys added, the less the object seems to weigh. The pulley system gives us a mechanical advantage.
However you arrange them though, pulleys seldom help pay the bills or cure an illness. They cannot defeat depression nor give hope when none can be seen, at least by the human eye. That’s why I believe and trust in God.
When we are overwhelmed and try to get done what needs (we think) to get done alone, it’s like pulling a heavy weight over a single pulley; the direction may change but the weight stays the same. The result is that we do not gain any advantage over the problem we are facing. When the amount we owe is more than what we earn, bills go unpaid. When all our trust is placed on the skill of a doctor and we do not lean on the love of our God, illness may not be cured. In good times and bad, we need a spiritual pulley.
When Jesus told the Disciples about the Holy Spirit, He called it the Helper. Not the “Doer” or the “I will take care of everything for you God.” That means we must help ourselves in order to get help; we cannot expect that God will solve every problem for us. Just like in the pulley system, if no one pulls on the rope the weight stays put.
The number of pulleys added to our problem is directly proportional to the amount of trust we have in God. If we sort-of believe that God is involved, but are certain that we know better and should lead the effort, then God might supply one more pulley. The part of our life where we trust little, we will receive little. Where God is concerned, we tend to receive as much as we trust.
The intensity of our belief that God will help with everything testifies to the trust we place in Him. As we pray and just let God be God, more pulleys are added to our life line, and that means unsolvable problems get solved. If you think your situation is impossible, consider what it would be like if it were only 10% of its current size, or even 1%. God is prepared to carry our heaviest load.
Jesus said His yolk was easy, His burden light. He was telling us that our burdens will be lighter if we let Him carry the load. Jesus knew about pulleys.