On Burdens…

Dawn breaks.
A new day begins.

And as soon as my feet hit the floor, I see them, neatly lined up in a row.
Some are large.
Some are small.
Some have handles.
Others have indentations from where they have dug into my shoulders for years.
Some are very heavy.
And others are light.
But when you take them in total, they are an enormous load.

But they are my load.
And so I pick them up, one by one.

I carefully pick up certain ones first, simply because I don’t want anyone to see them. I tuck them carefully away so that I look good to others – I hope.

Some of them are so familiar that I almost forget they are on my back as soon as I lift them.
Others are new and so I am more conscious of them.
By the time I am fully loaded, I am about an inch shorter with a distinct slump in my back.
My knees ache before I even take my first step.
But hey, that’s life.

I want to be a good steward.
So some of these burdens are labeled “time management” and “money management.”
Others have names on them. A friend here. A family member there. Someone over here that I am trying to forgive. And someone else who is driving me slightly batty.
Perhaps the most familiar burden is the one that says, “Eat right”. I’ve been shuffling that one my whole life.
And many others have good things in them – like exercising and spending time with friends, reading my Bible and taking time to pray.

But they are all still burdens.
Still mine to carry.

I am finally all packed up, strapped up, ready to go.
My neck is hurting a bit from the strain but, hey, I want to be a good disciple so this must be the way!
I turn to my Companion who has been quietly waiting while I load up and say, “OK, Lord, let’s do this day! You coming?”

———

Dawn breaks.
A new day begins.

And as soon as my feet hit the floor, I see them, neatly lined up in a row.
Some are large.
Some are small.
Some have handles.
Others have indentations from where they have dug into my shoulders for years.
Some are very heavy.
And others are light.
But when you take them in total, they are an enormous load.

But they are my load.
And so I pick them up, one by one.

And I hand them to Jesus, who is standing beside me with arms outstretched to take them.

Some of them are terribly familiar because I have wrestled with them – or at least carried them – for a long time.
Others are newer.
Many are good things that I want to do, things that I know will help me grow.
Others are areas that need work. Lots and lots of work.
And still others are simply people.
People I love.
People I am concerned about.
People who are driving me crazy.

But none of them are mine to carry.
Yes, I have to be responsible for many things.
I have to choose to do the good.
And to keep wrestling against the bad.

But the power to do that does not come from my shoulders.
Or my bootstraps.
It does not come from “my will be done” willpower.
Or from any source around me.
Except The One.
The One who shoulders every burden I have like they are weightless.
While I stand there, free as a bird, light as a feather, able to move freely into my day.

I know I will be tempted many times through this day to reach over and take one or two of those off His back.
If I give into that temptation and attempt to carry them myself, it WILL end in disaster.
I have proven that time and time and time again.

Just like He has proven His strength is sufficient.
His grace is as well.
His mercies are a constantly renewed well because He is Living Water.
He has proven that He supplies my needs because, after all, He is the Bread of Heaven.
He is the Light of my world, the One who chases the darkness.
And He is the Glue that holds me together, because He is the Master Potter who created this clay vessel that is my life.
But most of all, He is my Friend. My constant companion.
And He never, ever leaves my side.
I can turn to Him at any moment in the day for any reason and He will be there.
With me.
Guiding me.
Strengthening me.
Loving me.
Carrying me.

As I breathe out a need, or a thank-you or a what-do-You-think, He responds.
With a Scripture that pops into my head.
Or a song on the radio.
A wise word from a friend.
Or just the “peace that passes understanding”.

And I am free.
Free to be me.
Free to be loved.
Free to be lovely to others because I am loved.
Free to move.
Free to be still.
Free to laugh.
And free to cry.
Free to be useful as a conduit of His love.
And free to reach out to others along the way.
Free to risk.
Free from fear.
And free from condemnation because I am in Christ Jesus.

Are you free today?
Who is carrying your burdens?
Give Him a chance to be your Burden Bearer – you’ll be so very glad you did!

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