“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Over the summer, God kept bringing these verses to my attention. The load I carry can get heavy. I have four children. I’m potty training one. I homeschool the other three. Most of the household and family responsibilities are on me due to my husband’s work hours. I take my kids to and from all their activities. I teach at my kid’s homeschool co-op class. I lead a weekly Bible study in my home. I write blogs every week. I am writing and publishing several books. I am involved in many groups and social media outlets online. And somewhere in between I manage to get a few hours of sleep at night.
I’m learning that when I start to feel overwhelmed, I am trying to carry that load on my own. I can only carry it for so long before it weighs down on me.
The original Greek word the NIV translated as “easy” in Matthew 11:30 above is pronounced “khrase-tos,” which means: fit for use, virtuous, manageable, mild, pleasant.
Even if our loads are heavy, when we rely on Jesus to carry them for us, they will be manageable and pleasant for us to bear. When I start to not enjoy what I am doing, and it’s more of a burden than a blessing, I need to stop what I’m doing, drop my load, pray, and leave my burdens at the feet of Jesus.
A couple weeks ago, my kids were overly irritating one another. Every time one would aggravate the other, they’d come running to me yelling, “MOM! He did this! MOM! She did that!” Feeling overwhelmed, I dropped to my knees and started praying. As my kids stood above me screaming “MOM,” wondering why I wasn’t answering them, I felt a peace come over me and the overwhelming feeling went away instantly. I was then able to peacefully manage and train my children accordingly.
I ignored the screaming and fighting for a moment and ran to the feet of Jesus to drop off my burden. When I got up, my load was light because I was only carrying His peace.
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Luke 18:1, KJV
In Luke 10:38-42, Martha opened her home to Jesus, but then became overwhelmed by the preparations that needed to be made. If Martha had stopped, dropped to her knees, and laid down her burdens at the feet of Jesus, as Mary did, she would’ve had the peace she needed to joyfully manage all the preparations.
Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
As God’s been speaking to me the last few months to lay my burdens down and learn from Jesus, I’ve been paying close attention to my prayer life. I am amazed how many decisions I make without asking God first. One of the reasons God led me to take a four month break offline was because I overloaded myself with too many commitments. God is not obligated to help us carry a load that He hasn’t laid upon us.
Since writing and being online, I’ve gotten a lot of requests. In the last year, I’ve accepted many requests without praying first. At one point, I was reading four books at a time, and posting on other people’s blogs more than my own. I realized it was not in God’s plan when it became an unpleasant burden. If I would have prayed before committing to those things, I wouldn’t have burnt myself out and neglected the work God had prepared for me to do.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I encourage you today if you are feeling overwhelmed, stop what you’re doing, drop to your knees, and pray. Leave your heavy load at the feet of Jesus. Ask God to show you what He has prepared for you to do, and lay everything else down that is not in His will. Receive Jesus’ peace and strength, so you can pleasantly manage everything God’s called you to do.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
We praise You that we don’t have to carry our burdens on our own. Help us to drop to our knees each day, lay down our loads at the feet of Jesus, and joyfully manage all that you’ve called us to do. Teach us and lead us into Your will.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
*Dr. Linda Travelute has a wonderful article titled “How to Give God Your Heavy Load & Grab a Lighter One Instead.” Follow this link to read it.
I have started “Praying the Word Wednesdays” on my Facebook page. Every Wednesday, post your prayer request on my Facebook wall. I’ll post a relevant verse and pray the Word of God over your request. There is great power in believing God and His Word!
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:11, KJV