I’m an optimist and usually an upbeat person. The majority of the time, I can see the silver lining of a cloud almost as quickly as I see the cloud, for myself and others. But there are times when the cloud feels so heavy that getting through the day feels more like trudging through mud.
When those heavy days start adding up, they sometimes become a season of difficulty. I have experienced those seasons. Challenges here, difficulties there, hearing news I didn’t want to hear. In those times, it felt like I needed someone to pull off the heavy weight bar so I could come up for a breath of air.
Sometimes I experience seasons of heaviness in my own life, while sometimes I see the challenges in the lives of others. Loving people is hard work. Standing alongside those who suffer or go through challenges is not easy. It is tempting to try to carry the weight of their load for them. I know that I need to help them carry their load to the cross, so they can find real relief from their burden. But sometimes I allow myself to transfer their load to my own back instead. The problem with that scenario is that neither person feels released from the burden.
Taking it back to Jesus: That’s the long and short of it. It all goes back to him.
He is strong enough to carry my load, and I have experienced his release of my burden many times. That is how I know that he can do it for someone else, too.
I encourage and prompt and nudge. But each person has to decide for
him or herself to let go of their load and allow God to take the pressure from their shoulders. I can’t force someone to trust God. And I
am not strong enough to carry anyone’s load for them.
But sometimes I forget. Or I wait too long. Or something.
And I need to remind myself of the truths in God’s Word, just like I tell
- God is able to do what he has said he would do (Ephesians 3:20)
- He is strong when you are weak (2 Corinthians 12:9-11)
- He is the healer (Isaiah 53:5)
- God loves them more than you do (John 3:16-17)
- He goes before you to make the way (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- He sees ahead, and he will lead you safely (Jeremiah 29:11)
- He is trustworthy (Lamentations 3:22-23)
- He will meet you where you are to help you (1 Corinthians 10:13)
- He has your back, and your best interests at heart (Psalm 139:5 and Romans 8:28)
- He will make a way where there seems to be no way (Isaiah 43:19)
And suddenly I am able to breathe again.