BRANDED BY BURDENS
When someone goes to the market to purchase goods, that person is likely to look for a particular brand. It has often been said that people buy brands, not products. So if that person wants to buy a television set, a particular brand comes to mind and the person goes for it. A brand is not just a product; it’s an identification mark; a product or service that stands out among the pack.
I noticed that in life, people also carry brands, sometimes without being aware of that fact. People are BRANDED by their BURDENS.
So in the Bible, we read of the man with the withered hand, (Mark 3:1) the man born blind (John 9:1), the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25) Then a very pathetic case, Blind Bartimaeus(Mark 10:46). His problem had become PART OF HIS NAME! These people had become nameless, BRANDED by their BURDENS!
In everyday life, people are described by the burdens they bear. A student wants to describe a lecturer and says, ‘Don’t you know that lecturer that drives that rickety car?’ Another person says, ‘Don’t you know that woman? That has been married for ten years without a child?’ I heard of a lady who was called SISTER METHUSELAH in the church she attended because she was yet to be married at an age when her mates were preparing to be grandmothers.
And it is those who have OBVIOUS BURDENS that suffer this fate. You wonder what OBVIOUS problems are? When someone has no job, when a woman has no child, when a lady is mature and still single, almost everyone around knows and such people are confronted with looks of pity wherever they go. It is so bad that whenever they sit still, staring into space, everyone assumes they are thinking about their problems. That they are wearing sad looks because of the burdens they bear. But that may not be the case. But when people KNOW YOU WITH YOUR PROBLEM, they BRAND you with it. It becomes like a stigma that follows you everywhere you go.
But there may be other people carrying HIDDEN BURDENS that no one knows about. Burdens that make them shed secret tears at night. Trust me, I have heard some stories that make my ears tingle and many do not know what pains that smiling face hides.
But it is those whose BURDENS tail them like a wound which refuses to heal that bear the brunt of this NEGATIVE BRANDING.
But guess what? That is not THE END OF THE STORY!
If you read the narratives of the biblical characters I mentioned earlier, you will see that they all had cause to smile when they came in contact with the only one who did not BRAND them WITH THEIR BURDENS. The only one who had the power to TAKE AWAY THOSE BURDENS.
When Jesus came on the scene, the STORY CHANGED. They were all called by new names. So the man with the withered hand became a man with a HEALED HAND. Blind Bartimaeus became SEEING BARTIMAEUS. And the man born blind had to reintroduce himself to his mockers who were debating about his identity, by saying ‘I am he,’ (John 9:8-10) The woman with the issue of blood became A WOMAN WHO HAD RECEIVED THE HEALING TOUCH OF JESUS.
This same Jesus can take away that burden. You may have been BRANDED WITH THAT PROBLEM but he can give you a new identity. No matter how long it takes, he can do it.