By definition, “burden” means “a load, especially a heavy one”. Tonight, that is exactly what I have on my heart. This overwhelming sense of hopelessness presents itself to me on a platter. Sitting in front of me like dinner on a table as a last meal. What runs through my mind is those who think they have to eat it. I know it’s a strange analogy – but it’s how it feels. Like someone tonight is feeling a death march approaching to their ultimate demise. The weight I feel is unlike a weight I have felt before. Oddly, I now it’s not “mine” but yet a burden I am bearing of others. A few names had been on my mind constantly the last few days and I feel like those same names feel as though life is over. That “it is what it is”. That they have lost all hope.
This past Sunday I had the opportunity to lead a song called “Always” by Kristian Stanfill. I love the bridge: I lift my eyes up, My help comes from the Lord. Psalm 121 says:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
You see, if you know Jesus, then you have a way in which you never have to carry a burden. Which means I probably wouldn’t have to feel what I am feeling right now, lol. So Stop! 🙂 But seriously… The verses above remind us that our help comes the very God who created Heaven and earth. NOT a small task mind you. Why think He couldn’t handle your issue (which is tiny in comparison)? And it goes on to say He will not let you fall? AND He never sleeps which means He is ALWAYS watching over you. You are never alone and you never have to handle the hopelessness you feel on your own.
Matthew 11:28 says: ‘Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”‘ Want rest? Want peace? Then trust Him and give it to Him. But when you “say” you have given it to Him – mean it. When you tell a friend you will do something or not repeat something – then they come back just to ‘make sure’ of what you agreed upon, doesn’t it make you feel a little like they don’t trust you? Like they just can’t 100% believe in you? Then don’t do that to Jesus.
Lastly, Philippians 4:6-7. It says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Pray about it. Not sure how to pray? Then just close your eyes and with all your heart begin talking to Jesus. Call Him by name so to acknowledge Him and begin chatting away. There is no wrong or right way to do this. Just your way 🙂 For me, I love to curl up on the couch and chat with Him like a best friend. Sometimes, if I am sad, I’ll get on the floor and cry as if to cry at His feet. That’s just for me and the way I like chatting with Him.
In my experience, often we feel like we have it all figured out – “this Jesus walk thing we are doing” – and then out of nowhere something knocks the breath out of us and we suddenly feel lost. Like we have never prayed a day in our lives. Like we have never even looked at the Bible. Naturally you begin to question if you were ever “really” a Christian to begin with and maybe God doesn’t really love you, blah blah. It’s a LIE. You are a Christian and God really does love you. Want to make sure you really are a believer – then talk to God and ask Him to come into your heart again. (P.S. God already knows how you are feeling so it’s no surprise to Him). The point is, don’t let your mind begin to wander just because you have a moment of hopelessness. You are strong and you have a purpose. You have a dream that you must believe in order to achieve it. You have someone else to influence and people who are looking up to you. There will always be people around us whose expectations we will never be able to achieve. Don’t live your life for those people… live your life for Jesus. Sounds cheesy – but it works… Ask yourself :What would Jesus do? Would He quit? Would He just give up and never look back. Would He allow someone’s opinion of Him to ruin His day? Nope. He would love. He would pray. He would strive to show kindness when dirt was thrown in His face. I know, I know, not the easiest of things but what He requires of us nonetheless.
Love others. And love yourself.