Carrying a Heavy Burden? -- a Christian Devotional on giving it to God. By Debra Torres
age I found the little brown purse at a rummage sale years ago and discovered that it was perfect for me.
It was full of pockets and zippers and best of all, I could wear it on my back.
It was just right for a mother of small children who needed to have her hands free.
I could slip on the purse and be ready for zipping coats, gripping little hands in parking lots and pushing a grocery cart.
I did have a fellow tell me one day that I looked like I was getting ready to “take off” after I had suited up with my backpack purse. But I didn’t care. Keeping “my stuff” accessible and holding on to my kids was important to me, so I kept my purse. Fashion statement or not.
But over time, my backpack purse started to show signs of wear. And, I found that its coloring had an odd tendency to “melt” in the hot sun.
It couldn’t even handle our mild Pennsylvania summers, so I’d have to stick it in the shade at baseball games and outdoor activities and deal with the goo later.
I knew it was strange and after a few hot summers, the purse started looking a bit shabby.
But still it worked for me and I wasn’t ready to part with it.
A few weeks ago, my bag’s front zipper finally blew out and I still continued to use it.
I could do without a front pocket right? I’d carried the ugly purse on my back for years, no reason to switch now. I mean, why do something different?
I thought long and hard about my bag situation yesterday and suddenly it reminded me of something spiritual.
Something God sees that maybe most of us do not.
You see, I think we all have a tendency to hang on to our ugly, broken bags. And many times these are burdens we aren’t meant to carry.
Now, I’m not talking about bags we can touch, like mine. I’m talking about intangible ones that maybe God wants us to get rid of or hand over to him.
Sometimes I think we get so used to carrying our burdens that we cling to them because they bring us comfort and a false sense of responsibility. If we’re not worrying about it, caught up in it, downtrodden by it -- then who will be, right?
Even though our bags may be heavy, we shudder at the thought of letting them go.
Now, it’s important to note that although there are some burdens that God wants us to be free from, there are others that God puts in our hearts and lives for a reason.
But he wants to help us carry them.
One of my favorite devotional writers is Oswald Chambers. He was an evangelist and teacher who lived in the early 20th century and his daily devotional “My Utmost for His Highest” has helped shape my Christian walk.
“We must recognize the difference between burdens that are right for us to bear and burdens that are wrong. We should never bear the burdens of sin or doubt, but there are some burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off. God wants us to roll them back on Him— to literally ‘cast your burden,’ which He has given you, ‘on the Lord . . . .’ If we set out to serve God and do His work but get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility we feel will be overwhelming and defeating. But if we will only roll back on God the burdens He has placed on us, He will take away that immense feeling of responsibility, replacing it with an awareness and understanding of Himself and His presence.”
Wow. What a freeing thought.
Waiting in the doctor’s office a few days ago, I observed an older woman standing at the front desk telling the receptionist about how her failing health was limiting her.
I felt sad for the woman and after finding a Gideons Bible in the waiting room, I decided to give her a Psalm to read. Finding a good one, I offered the Bible to her and encouraged her to read the scripture.
She looked at me with big blue eyes empty of joy and peace and told me that she couldn’t read it because of her glaucoma.
I felt so sad for the woman and wondered what her life was like. I know that the burdens she was bearing would have looked way better on God’s shoulders.
I no longer carry around my ugly, brown bag. It was tough to get rid of something I was so used to – but freeing at the same time.
What are you carrying on your back today?
Here are some Bible verses that'll help you on your journey:
Psalm 68:19 New International Version 1984
19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Selah
Psalm 55:22 New Living Translation
22 Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Matthew 11:28-30 New International Version 1984
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”