I learned a lot about shifting burdens the other day. My brother needed an apartment change, and, after many months of prayer, he had a moving date. So the available family gathered. And the only way this worked was to transfer burdens to one another. Consider the numbers. How could an 82 year-old man plus two middle-aged women have moved the household possessions of a 55-year-old brother into his new apartment in one 8-hour day? Don’t they have businesses that do this? It was a miracle!
Now, there was prep work. Brother does what he can to get ready. One sister goes the day before and cleans and helps pack up clothing and anything else that would not be needed overnight. Mom does what she can packing up and carrying items to the top of the stairs for younger legs to carry down and then up again. Prayers were prayed for a swift, safe move and dry sky overhead. (The most important prep work by the way.) Each and every one answered with grace from a loving Heavenly Father.
Thinking on this today, when the sore muscles hit – how burdens have to be shifted to get anything done. To even live day-to-day without being crushed by the weight of life in this world, we have to give it up somehow. As Dad, sister and I carried furniture down a skinny deck walkway and brought it gingerly down the deck stairs, we had to communicate with each other. We had to sometimes say, “rest it here,” “watch your fingers,” “give me more weight, I’m okay.”
Jesus says: “Come to Me, all you 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)
If your soul, your heart, your thoughts and feelings have you weighed down to the near-crushing point, listen to Jesus. He wants to say “rest it here,” “give me more weight.” In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrases the above scripture like this,
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
I’m not sure about you, but really, everyone has “stuff” – burdens that can weigh heavy on hearts. Moving-on days that loom ahead bringing a sense of dread. Change can be scary, and not knowing if there will be enough help can cause anxiety. Take heart! This is the exact place we need to be for God to show up!
2nd Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Only when we see that, in and of ourselves, we are not capable enough to handle the demands in this life, does faith win.
I have to confess, I had very little faith that our small crew would be able to accomplish this move without someone breaking a leg, or voicing words that could break a heart, but we were fine. What’s so loving, among many things about Jesus is that He honors little faith. Any amount of faith in Him will grow into miracles.
1st John 5:4-5 says, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” To be an overcomer, we need to shift our burdens to the only One who can carry them for us and give us true rest.
What burdens do you need to shift to His shoulders today?