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franklin county times

Bring your burdens to Him

Last week I shared the most important step we must take if we are serious about learning to abide in Christ: acknowledge Him first. A daily quiet time is vital to our spiritual growth, and, honestly, there is no way to mature in our faith outside of a commitment to time in the Word every day.

But here’s the thing: even when we are faithful to read the Bible every day, even when we are praying and seeking His wisdom, even when we are desperate to grow in Him, life can still be hard. Recently my friend Amanda wrote these words on her website, “What do we do when our circumstances are still the same when all we want is some newness? What do we do when life is still hard in this season, and the change we’re hoping for hasn’t yet come?

The simple answer is we change our outlook on it.

Hard seasons are a bridge to a new and better season. Better yet, we see and draw closer to the Lord in hard times. That is, if we decide to. So if we decide to see our challenges as a bridge rather than a pit, we’ll be better for it. And with Christ, the victor, right at our side, we’re in good company.

Maybe this new year finds you in a hard season, and right now you can’t even begin to see how it is anything other than a pit. If so, this column is for you! And if you’re not there now, let’s face it: there’s a whole year ahead, and most of us will find ourselves in a difficult season or situation at some point. I pray these words of encouragement will come back to you.

Let’s dig in to the second step in ABIDE: Bring Your Burdens to Him.

What’s weighing heavy on your heart? What thoughts can you not seem to let go? Is there a relationship you are struggling with? Perhaps you are having a hard time with one of your children right now, or maybe you are waiting to hear about a health situation? Whatever the burden you are carrying, may I remind you of Jesus’ own words, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.

In this verse, I see three important truths that give us great insight into how we are to bring our burdens to Him.

First, “Come.” How do we come to Jesus? Prayer. I know, that sounds so simplistic and Sunday school-ish. But it’s the truth. We come to Him through prayer. It’s there we meet Him and open ourselves up to Him. Prayer can seem overwhelming sometimes. We aren’t sure what to say or if we’re doing it right. But prayer isn’t about the right words; it’s about the right heart. We come to Him aware of our need, certain of His sufficiency and prepared to surrender.

Second, “Confess.” He knows all the struggles we face. He knows we labor and feel weighted down. But there is a great freedom in confessing our burdens to Him. Peter wrote, “Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7. When we acknowledge the weight we carry, we are also admitting we are in need of His help. Far too often, as women we don’t want to admit we need any help. But we do, and there is nothing embarrassing or shameful about acknowledging that truth. Especially when we are confessing we need the Lord’s help — because we do.

And lastly, “Calm.”

His offer of rest isn’t simply a nap (though sometimes that is exactly what we need the most!). Jesus is offering something only He can give – true rest for our souls. In this world with all its chaos and calamity, there is great peace and confidence in knowing the one who has overcome.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

I don’t know the specifics of your situation, but I know the One who does. And He invites you to lay down your burdens and trust Him with them.

This Week’s Challenge: Make a list of the situations, people and circumstances that feel heavy to you. Read over the verses below and as you do, confess your need for Jesus to carry the weight for you. Thank Him for His willingness to do so and for the way He tenderly cares for you.

Learning to trust our burdens to the Lord is often an ongoing task. But it is one worth practicing. As we give Him our cares and see His faithful provision in them, we grow in our understanding of His deep love for us, which leads us to long for more of Him in our lives.

It’s a step well worth taking as we learn to abide in Him.

 

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