How do we carry a burden well?
Every day during this pandemic I’ve asked God why I’m handling this the way I am. Is there something wrong with me? Why do my friends on social media seem so happy and positive? Is my faith weaker? Am I fearful? Do I not trust and wait well?
I open my eyes, and my thoughts begin to swirl. I’m feeling fatigued mentally and emotionally. I hurt when others hurt. I tend to take on the feelings of others far too easily.
Today I began my day the same as I do each day, coffee and God. I sat in the silence lacking the motivation to crack open His Word. I just needed to sit.
We start with prayer
I opened my journal and began writing to God. Side note: journaling keeps me from a wandering mind during prayer. Here’s what I wrote:
Lord, What is it you want me to do in this season? What do you want me to hear from you? Give me ears to hear and eyes to see. Lord, I want to represent you well. Teach me when to speak and when to be silent.
I’d also journaled to God how overwhelmed I felt with burdens from this world and how I wake feeling a racing heart.
We listen and watch for His reply
I then reached for my favorite devotion. I think you know the one (insert wink emoji), My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. The day was April 13th, the key verse: Psalm 55:22 Cast thy cares upon the Lord.
“We must distinguish between the burden bearing that is right and the burden bearing that is wrong. We ought never to bear the burden of sin or of doubt, but there are burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off, He wants us to roll them back on Him.”
We engage in dialogue with God
I stopped and journaled my prayer:
Lord, reveal to me which burdens are right and which are wrong. Teach me to roll the burdens back to You.
I went back to reading the devotion by Chambers.
” If we undertake work for God and get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility will be overwhelmingly crushing; but if we roll back on God that which He has put upon us, He takes away the responsibility by bringing in the realization of Himself.”
“Many workers have gone out with high courage and fine impulses, but with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, and before long they are crushed.”
I picked up my pen with a gasp. Lord, I want intimate fellowship with You. Keep me from being crushed by giving me the wisom to stay intimately connected to You.
Back to Chambers.
“They do not know what to do with the burden, it produces weariness, and people say, ‘What an embittered end to such a beginning!”
Back to my journal. LORD! Teach me to roll my burden back to You. Keep me from becoming weary and protect me from an embittered end.
Back to the devotion, which feels as a direct rebuke and letter of instruction from God to me.
“Roll thy burden upon the Lord- you have been bearing it all; deliberately put one end on the shoulders of God. ‘The government shall be upon His shoulders.’ Commit to God ‘that He hath given thee’; not fling it off, but put it over onto Him and yourself with it, and the burden is lightened by the sense of companionship. Never disassociate yourself from the burden.”
Lord, this devotion feels like the most kind and tender gift to me. You desire to carry the burden but I keep picking it up alone. Lord, teach me to pray. Amen.
We reflect on the conversation
As I open-mouth reflected, I realized the burden I feel is given to me by God. The problem is that I forget to give Him the proper load. I trudge along dragging the burden when all the while He has open hands to help me. He is the load carrier. I can be His companion.
As I questioned the burden I feel for our nation, I sensed God telling me He has given me this burden for a reason, not to fling off, but He’s asking me to rely on Him and stay in intimate relationship with Him. The government is on His shoulders, not mine. I can pray. I can share and lead and encourage and point back to the cross.
I share because I trust God speaks to each of us in intimate ways. I share to encourage you to hear God’s voice intimately. I also share because I believe we see our own stories in between the lines of another’s story.