Tag Archives: burden

Sanity Break

Years ago I owned a childcare center. As I would go through the new hire orientation, I would let them know how stressful the job could be (Imagine being trapped in a room with 22 two year olds for 8 hours). I would tell them to come to me when they needed a sanity break. Then I would add, “We all get to the end of our rope sometimes. When you get to the knot on the end, that’s when you come to me. Please don’t wait until you’re holding on by the thread below that.”

One day, I was sitting in my office doing paperwork, and I saw a lady quickly go by, grab the doorknob to exit and on her way out say, “Mr. Chris, I gotta have that sanity break now!” My first thought was, “Who’s with your class?” I jumped up and ran to the room to watch the kids. Several minutes later she returned. She apologized for waiting too long, and we began discussing the importance of coming to me before that happened again.

Just like working in that environment, every day stresses add up. Life can be overwhelming at times. We all get to the end of our rope and want to walk out at times. The burdens we carry around with us can often get the best of us too. Jesus understood that, and still does. In Matthew 11:28 jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (NLT). He’s telling us to come to Him before we get to the end of our rope.

His call, “Come to me,” goes out to you and me today. It’s up to us to go to Him and to hand Him the things that are weighing us down. It’s ok to say, “Lord, i can’t carry this anymore. Will you take it? Give me your burden please.” In that moment, when you trust Him to take it, there is a sweet release. Your problems won’t go away, and life will still be coming at you, but you won’t have to bear the weight of it. God cares for you and your situation. He calling to you today, “Come to me.”

Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

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Letting Go


Tug of war is a great game we learned to play as kids. You can have one on one tug of war or team versus team. Either way, it’s a battle of strength and will. Each of us has played with that person who just lets go of the rope. Your body was used to keeping the tension by pulling against the weight of the other side, and when they release that tension, you go flying backwards. Now, any time you hold any weight with tension, you’re afraid you’ll fall down if that happens again.

Just like our body gets used to keeping the tension in tug of war, our mind can get used to the tension of carrying a burden. There’s a struggle. There’s tension. There’s the fear of what it’ll do to you if that tension is cut. You don’t feel like you can let go of the burden for fear of flying backwards and being made to look like a fool. Fear keeps you holding on to the weights you should’ve let go of long ago even after God has told you to let go.

You may not know it, but God gave you a promise in Psalm 55:22 about letting go of those burdens. It says, “Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail)” (AMP). If you will release the weight of your burden, He will catch you. He won’t let you fall and look like a fool. His desire is that you let go of that heaviness and hand it over to Him.

Just like in tug of war, it’s a trust exercise. You’re going to have to be the one to let go though. You’re going to have to be the one who releases the tension and says, “God, I’m letting go of this burden. You can have it.” God cares about your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Carrying a burden affects all three. That’s why He said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28NLT). You’ll be more productive, happier, and better rested when you let Him do the heavy lifting. 

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Heavy Lifting

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Have you ever tried to carry something that was too heavy for you? I’m not talking about something you couldn’t lift. I’m talking about something that you could hold, but not for very long. You struggle to lift it, with each step you exhale trying to manage the weight and size of the object. You can only go a few feet before you have to set it down, take a breather, look at how much further you have to go and then try again. You repeat the process over and over until you finally reach your destination. It’s exhausting and can give you medical problems if it’s too heavy or too far.

Imagine carrying that same object and a friend comes over. They see you struggle and instead of offering help, they offer suggestions on how to carry it better. “Lift with your legs, not your back,” they say. How does that make you feel? Clearly they see you struggling, but they are doing nothing to help you. It gets frustrating. How about if instead of helping you they cheered you on? How would that make you feel? “Come on! I know you can do it! You’ve got this.” While it might help morally, it still doesn’t help with the problem.

What you really want when you’re struggling like that is for them to say, “Hey, let me give you a hand.” When they grab the other side, the weight is halved. Suddenly it’s more bearable than it was. You may be able to go a little bit further before you have to set it down. Their physically helping you with the object is a lot more useful than telling you how to do it or encouraging you to do it. Would you agree? Then why do we do the first two when we see someone struggling with heavy burdens?

I once heard a person say, “With a friend, joy is doubled and pain is halved.” I could also add burdens are halved. Galatians 6:2 says, “Help to carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.” It didn’t tell us just to encourage someone who is carrying a burden or to tell them how to carry it. We are told to help them carry it. When someone is carrying a burden, it’s a lot like that large object. They may only be able to take a few steps before they’re exhausted. They may not feel like they’re making progress. While words of encouragement are nice, helping them with the heavy lifting is what’s needed.

Think of a time when you’ve had a heavy burden. What is it that you wished people had done for you? Go and do that for someone else. When I see others who are going through something I’ve been through, my first thoughts are, “What did people do that made me mad? What did I wish people had done.” I then go and try to do the second instead of the first. It’s important that we look around us today to see which friends are struggling. While a word of encouragement is nice and a few tips on how to bear the burden is great, I’m sure they’d love some help with the heavy lifting.

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The Gift Of Help

One of my first jobs was being a sacker at a grocery store. Back then, the sacker didn’t just put your groceries in bags, they also took your bags to your car and put them in it. Society has gotten away from that in recent years. We have determined we can do it on our own and don’t need the help of someone else. We have self check out lines so we can avoid being helped by the checker and sacker. We do it all ourselves. We take the groceries to the car, load them up, take them home and then try to carry them all in the house in one trip. We load as much as we can on our arms. When so done offers help, we say, “No thanks. I got it.”

Have you ever done that? I think most of us have. Why do we refuse help when we need it? Why do we continually try to do things on our own? We need help from others. In fact, not long after God made Adam, He looked at him and said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper.” God recognized right after He made Adam that we need help. He knew it wasn’t good for us to do things alone. So He created Eve. He gave us the gift of a helper.

I’m the type of person who loves to offer help, but has a hard time accepting it from others. I’m also the guy who uses the self checkout lane and tries to carry every bag in one trip. What I find is that doing things on your own wears you out. It’s tiring. That’s because it goes against the way God made us. He intended for us to have others help us. He intended for us to have others be strong when we are weak. But if we don’t let others know we are struggling while trying to carry all the bags on our arms, how can they know to help?

The bags most of us carry are invisible. We struggle to carry them trying not to let one break. It takes up so much of our energy. It’s ok to get help. It’s ok to see someone struggling and to offer help. In fact, Galatians 6:2 tells us, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” That’s pretty powerful. Carrying someone else’s burden is how we fulfill God’s laws. Eve was made to carry Adam’s burdens. You were made to carry someone else’s. If you were made to carry someone else’s, then you were also made to let someone carry yours. You just have to let go and accept their help.

What all are you holding onto today? What burdens are you carrying that are wearing you out? You weren’t meant to carry them alone, so stop trying. Find someone you can trust and ask them to help you. Ask them to pray with you and for you. Share your burdens. When you do, your load will be lightened and your strength will return. Trust God’s plan that you need help. Don’t be too prideful in thinking you can do it on your own, God has someone waiting to help you carry the load. You just need to accept it and do your part in fulfilling the law of Christ.

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Fixing Your Life

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As I was pulling out of the parking lot at work yesterday, I felt God tell me to go the opposite direction that I should have. So I turned left instead of right. About a block away I saw a young lady trying to change her tire. I pulled up beside her and asked if she needed help. She was clearly frustrated and said, “At this point, I don’t think I can turn down help.” She had been trying to place the jack under the car in order to raise it up. She had it in position, but was having trouble turning the knob that lifted the jack.

I looked over at the styrofoam block that contained her jack and noticed there was an empty hole where the jack bar was supposed to be. I asked her where that was, but she didn’t know. I tried once or twice turning the knob by hand, but didn’t have the required strength to do it. I went to my car, got the jack out of it, slid it under her car and quickly raised it. In no time her spare was on and we were both able to head out. Having the right tool made all the difference.

I started thinking that’s how life is. When we get stranded on the side of life’s road broken down, we get frustrated trying to fix it without the right tools. We don’t try to flag anyone down to help us until we’re at the end of our rope. This lady had tried to call family members, but no one answered when she called. She didn’t know what else to do, but to keep trying even though it didn’t make sense. In the end, she was tired, worn out, upset and ready to give up.

I’ve been there in life. I lacked the strength and tools to make the changes necessary to get my life back on the road and moving again. I laid down in my living room and cried out to God, “I can’t do it! I don’t know how!” He met me there and said, “Finally.” I thought it was a strange response. He said, “Finally you’ve given up trying to do this in your own strength. Now try doing it in my strength. My strength is made perfect in your weakness.” I had to come to the realization that we weren’t made to handle all the troubles and cares of this life on our own. He told us over and over in His Word to cast our cares and burdens on Him, but we don’t get it.

He has the tools necessary to fix your life when you don’t. He has the strength needed to pick you up when you don’t. He has always given us the choice to continue struggling on our own or to rely on His strength. It’s just a matter of when each one of us makes the realization for ourselves that we need Him to help us. It took a while for me to learn how to walk in His strength. I’m still learning, but I’m getting better at calling out to Him sooner for help. What will it take to get you to the point where you can’t turn down His help?

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The Burden Center

As I was turning into my hotel in Baton Rouge last night, I noticed a sign that said “Burden Center”. I know now it’s an off campus Ag center for LSU, but I started thinking about a real burden center where you could come lay yours down and rest. How cool would that be? If you ever wanted to off load your burdens for good or just make them smaller, you could come to the burden center and do that.

Each of us carry burdens of some sort. Some burdens are so heavy that they crush you. They affect your mood, your outlook on life and even your personality. I’ve heard people say, “That’s my burden to bear.” They have given up hope that anyone will come along to share the load and to help them. They feel like they are the only one who can bear that load, so they carry it.

Usually when I have a load like that, I feel like I have to carry it because no one else can or will. I take the burden on my back purposefully and carry it as far as I can. The problem is that the longer I carry it, the heavier it seems. It’s like hiking up a mountain with a backpack. As I climb the mountain, the backpack doesn’t physically get larger or heavier, but the longer I carry it, the more I need a rest.

I have the option to do that when I’m carrying a backpack, but don’t feel like I do when I’m carrying a burden. All I want to do is rest, but burdens don’t let you. They consume your mind and suck energy right out of you. Jesus knows that all too well. He also knows that we’ll try to carry weights on our own. That’s why He has a burden center. His motto is found in Matthew 11:28. It says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Ahh rest. Such a great thing, especially when you’re carrying a burden. I love how the Amplified version talks about rest. It says, “I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.” Now that’s a promise we should all take advantage of. I know I need my soul relieved and refreshed. When that happens, your outlook changes once again. You get your strength and life back to where God wants it.

What burdens are you carrying today that you think your the only one who can? Are you tired and ready for rest? Bring them to His burden center and give them to Him. If you truly believe He is in control of all things, then surely He can carry your burden for you and cause the outcome He wants. He’s asking for you to give it to Him, but the choice is yours.

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The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

I heard a scripture a couple of weeks ago and I’m still chewing on it. I’m going over it in my mind over and over. I’m still not sure everything that it means, so I’ll keep chewing on it, breaking it down, thinking it through and pondering how it applies to my life. This simple phrase from matthew 11:28-30 keeps rolling around in my mind. Jesus said, “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”

Jesus says it after asking some good questions. He asked, “Are you tired? Worn out?” Then He offers for us to go to Him, get away with Him and to recover our life. He will show us how to take a real rest by walking with Him and working with Him. He says, “Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” It reminds me of a father teaching His child how to do something.

Watch me. Learn from me. I’ll show you how to do it. Do what I do. That’s a father’s heart. He wants to show us the rhythm of life. Real life, not this life we’re living that is inundated with emails, phone calls and traffic. Life that is unforced and natural. A spiritual life that loves others, does what is right and follows in His steps. He promised right after that, “I won’t lay anything heavy or Ill-fitting on you.” He’s not a burdensome God. His desire is simp,y to spend time with us.

The longer that I’m a father, the more I realize His love for us and His desire to just spend time with us. Our lives are to bring Him joy. We were designed to walk with Him and to spend time with Him. We weren’t meant to carry heavy burdens. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. In I Peter 5:7 It says, “Give ALL your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you.”

I think giving them over to Him is the first step to learning those unforced rhythms of grace. We can’t move well when we are bogged down with things that we can’t do anything about. Release them to Him and find rest. I know it’s easier said than done. It takes a shift in your thinking. Once you come to the realization that worrying about your problems won’t solve it, you have the ability to release it to God and find rest. The Amplified version describes that rest as “relief, ease, refreshment, recreation and blessed quiet.”

Maybe that’s where you are today. You need to learn those rhythms of grace, but you have to let go of the burdens of the past first. You can’t let the worry of the unknown interfere with those rhythms either. Your life is precious and our Father wants you to learn His ways and to find rest in Him. He wants to refresh your soul today if you’ll just let Him. Don’t hold onto the things that keep you from walking forward with Him.

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