It’s safe to say that everyone’s world seems a little crazy right now. Chaos, uncertainty, fear, confusion, frustrations… It’s all just a lot right now. There’s a meme floating around the Internet right now that says ‘I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to precedented times.’ We are all looking forward to something that even resembles normal.
We’re navigating so much right now - working from home, shifting job responsibilities, changes in finances due to loss of income, eLearning. Everything is new and nothing feels familiar. All of that adds up to a pretty heavy load to carry every day.
Some would say it’s making us stronger. All of this is forcing us to learn new things, adapt to advancing technology, and pivot our plans quickly. It’s an ongoing exercise of mental, emotional, and physical strength to get to the next day.
But since when was ‘stronger’ ever the goal of the Christian life? It never was. And it isn’t now. The goal has been and always will be a deeper dependence on Jesus. Don’t forget that we were never called to bear these heavy burdens of life on our own. Jesus invites us to admit our need for Him, cast our worries and burdens on Him, and allow Him to care for us.
“Cast your burdens on the Lord, and He will sustain you.” Psalm 55:22
That’s a really encouraging verse, but reading it and repeating it isn’t a magic spell that makes our burdens disappear. Read it carefully. There is a call to action.
“Cast your burdens on the Lord” - It doesn’t say ‘Cast your burdens aside’ or the popular ‘just don’t worry about it’. Those statements aren’t helpful at all. Focus on where we’re called to cast our burdens. We’re invited to cast our burdens ‘on the Lord’. The difference between casting our burdens aside and casting our burdens on the Lord is essential. It’s less about letting go of our worries and more about who we are giving them to.
“...and He will sustain you.” - When we have given Jesus our concerns, cares, worries, and burdens, He offers a light yoke, an easy burden to carry in return. “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
He will trade our heavy load for an easy yoke and sustain us with rest.
When the days come along when it all seems like it's too much, we need to bring our burdens to God. Even with the world on our shoulders and our hands full of heavy worries, we can stop to take a breath and tell God our struggles - a chance to trade our heavy load for His easy yoke. He is always near, caring for us, and wanting to hear from his children.
Try these quick Inhale/Exhale exercises from Liturgies for Parents (@liturgiesforparents on Instagram). Pick one to use throughout the day to remind you to cast your cares on the Lord because He cares for you.
- Inhale: O God, I give you my anxieties
- Exhale: O God, You care for me.
- Inhale: O God, I can do this.
- Exhale: Give me strength.
- Inhale: God, you give strength to the weary.
- Exhale: You give power to the weak.
- Inhale: You are my God who takes my hand.
- Exhale: And tells me You will help me.