BURDENS. We all get loaded down with them. Finances, strained marriages and broken relationships, emotional trauma, failing health, unexpected grief-you name it and it can be a crushing weight. Burdens hang on us like a wet blanket to steal our joy and zap our strength. Sleep is elusive at best, and when you wake, your mind instantly begins right where you left off. Burdens- they make you feel like you are running a marathon when you are standing in a mud pit.
The Bible tells us to cast our cares on God...and I am forever grateful that I don't have to bear my burdens alone. Jesus bears them with me...(I get that.) God hears my prayers!! (I get that.) He is good!! (I get that, too.) But what do I do when the weight of my burdens crush in on me and I can't let it go?? What do I do when I am knee deep in the mire of my burdens, and anxiety is making me sink? How do I LET GO AND LET GOD BE GOD? How do I cast my cares on Him?
"Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." Psalm 55:22
God loves us beyond our wildest imaginations. We must trust that in our muddy mess, He is in the process of showing us how to rely on Him for everything. So, let's take at look at 4 Biblical steps you can use to climb out of the mud.
1. SAY IT.
SPEAK. Speak it loud and speak it deeply from your heart! Tell God exactly what your burdens are. Cry out in prayer--out loud. Praying is quite different than pondering. It is our nature to think, figure, manipulate and predict without ever actually praying. Pondering something, my sweet sister, isn't going to change anything. God knows the intentions of the heart,but when we are in a pit, our hearts need to physically cry out for help. We need to speak truth to our minds and get gut honest with our Heavenly Father.
Check out these passages as the writer cries out from the deepest place in their heart. Yeah, they were constantly in a state of running muddy marathons, too.
"Oh God, hasten to deliver me; O LORD, hasten to my help! Let those be ashamed and humiliated who seek my life; Let those be turned back and dishonored who delight in my hurt." Psalm 70:1-2
"Save me, Oh God, for the waters have threatened my life. I have sunk in deep mire and there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters and a flood overflows me. I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; My eyes fail while I wait for my God." Psalm 69:1-3
"The LORD is my rock and my fortress any my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. " Psalm 18: 1-3
These cries came from the deepest place where their burdens were all stored up. They named them. They got specific and got down to business with God on a heart level. We need to do that as well! Write it out-speak it, cry it, shout it-do whatever it takes but SAY IT. Is your marriage in shambles? Speak it!! "God this relationship is dying because my husband is addicted to porn! I am so angry and hurt and I don't know what to do--" Do you have a wayward child? Speak it!! "Father I am begging you to go get my kid!!! He/ she is so lost and undone! God-I am asking You to protect them physically, sexually, emotionally-but most of all God, restore them to yourself! I'm their mama and I am desperately asking you to intervene for their good and your glory! Do not let him/her go!"
There is just something about falling on God's grace and resting in our weakness to find our strength. It is so safe.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
SAY IT until you are out of words, until you are out of tears, until you see the end of you, and the beginning of Him. The power of crying out to God unlocks the doors of heaven and opens your eyes to see God moving on your behalf. Already did that? Keep doing it until God moves but be sure to also do the next step, which is soak in Scripture.
2. SOAK IN SCRIPTURE
Get into God's word!! If you have a specific burden that is dragging you under-name it and start looking for verses in the Bible that deal with it. If you don't know where to start-just try Googling " Bible verses on ________". There is also a concordance in the back of your Bible that will list different words or subjects to look up. Another option is to go to www.blueletterbible.org and type in a specific biblical word in their search engine. (ex: forgive, sin, bitterness,rebellion, money etc) This site is an excellent reference for finding relevant verses and commentaries.
When you come across a verse that you find helpful-be sure to write it down! Jot it down on a index card, in a journal or color it in your Bible. Surround yourself with as many verses as you can find. Keep them in a place where they can be easily seen throughout the day, especially when the burdens begin to sink in. For example, post them around your house, in your car, on your desk at work or keep them in your wallet. Why not put your favorite verse on a sticky note and attach it to the screen of your phone or computer!? Make that verse your screen saver! When you soak yourself in Scripture, the burdens are lifted and you can begin to focus on truth instead of lies.
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105
"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." Romans 15:4
"My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4: 20-23
3. SING, SING, SING!
Our adversary HATES worship. Really! There is nothing as effective at keeping your enemy at bay than to sing worship songs that are based on biblical truth. One thing about burdens is that they make us self centered. It's all about our problems, our situation, our feelings...YUCK. Worship takes our eyes off of all of our messes and fixes our eyes on the awesomeness of our God! Not sure what songs to play? Check out these gems on my Spotify Playlist !! Keep worship music playing around the clock if you need to!
"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!" Psalm 95: 1-2
Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve." Matthew 4:10
"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
"...but be filled with the Holy Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father:" Ephesians 5:19-20
"My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right." Psalm 119-:172
4. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH WARRIORS.
God did not design you to carry your burdens alone. He gave you sisters in Christ who can identify with your struggles and encourage you on the road to freedom. Gather a FEW close sisters that are true prayer warriors, or seek out a professional Biblical counselor to guide you into truth.
"Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." Proverbs 11:14
"Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:20-21
"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
SAY, SOAK, SING AND SURROUND...May each of us casts our burdens on God and lighten the load of another.