in Devotions, Reflections

Hey YOU – Drop those Burdens from Last Year!

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Did I get your attention with that title on this third day of 2017? I hope so, because it occurred to me that mules are considered “beasts of burden”– and while someone might accuse you or me of being “stubborn as a mule” at times — we are NOT mules and not designed to carry heavy burdens! Trying to carry these burdens not only interferes with our ability to move forward, but also with our ability to pursue our purpose and fulfill our potential.

 

Mules can manage burdens–we cannot! [Photo credit: morgueFile free photos]

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I thought this passage and the poem following it are especially fitting to ponder in the opening days of a new year … but also a good reminder for any time we allow burdens to weigh us down!

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“Haven’t you been known to pick up a few bags?

Odds are, you did this morning.

Somewhere between the first step on the floor

and the last step out the door,

you grabbed some luggage.

You stepped over to the baggage carousel

and loaded up.

Don’t remember doing so?

That’s because you did it without thinking.

Don’t remember seeing a baggage terminal?

That’s because the carousel

is not the one in the airport;

it’s the one in the mind.

And the bags we grab are not made of leather;

they’re made of burdens.

The suitcase of guilt.

A sack of discontent.

You drape a duffel bag of weariness

on one shoulder

and a hanging bag of grief on the other.

Add on a backpack of doubt,

an overnight bag of loneliness,

and a trunk of fear.

Pretty soon,

you’re pulling more stuff than a skycap.

No wonder you’re so tired at the end of the day.

Lugging luggage is exhausting.

What about your soul?

When your heart is hungry,

when your dreams are thirsty,

when your spirit has run dry.

Where do you turn?

I’d like to urge you to turn to your Shepherd.

If you let Him,

your Shepherd will refresh your spirit

by lightening your load–

by releasing you from the burdens

you were never intended to bear:

burdens of worry, guilt, hopelessness,

fear, shame, doubt, loneliness….

the burdens of life.

God is saying to you,

‘Set that stuff down!

You’re carrying burdens you don’t need to bear.

‘Come to me,’ He invites,

‘all of you who are weary

and carry heavy burdens,

and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28).

If we let Him, God will lighten our loads.”

–Max Lucado in “Traveling Light”

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Max Lucado’s excerpt reminded me of this poem:

You Never Did Let Go

“As children bring their broken toys
with tears for us to mend,

I brought my broken dreams to God,
because He was my Friend.

But then, instead of leaving Him
in peace to work alone,

I hung around and tried to help
with ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried,
‘How can You be so slow?’

‘My child,’ He said, ‘what could I do?
You never did let go.'”

–Unknown

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So what are YOUR thoughts?

Are there some burdens and heavy luggage you’re dragging around that you need to release? (I’m still working on identifying some in my life!)

Would you like to stop being a “beast of burden” and let go, so the Shepherd can bear your burdens instead?

 

7 Comments

  1. Vicki Maheu

    Letting go can be a real challenge sometimes, and I think that often the Christian life is a balancing act of knowing when to let go, and when God wants us to get to work on something…. I think we need to be willing to work, but at the same time to let go of the results and leave them in God’s hands.

    03 . Jan . 2017
  2. Missy Nolan

    Great post. “You Never Did Let Go” is a powerful poem. I think I might print this and hang it near my laptop as a reminder to let go of some burdens I’ve been lugging around.

    05 . Jan . 2017
  3. Salma

    It can be such a heavy burden and sometimes you don’t even realize it’s holding you down!

    05 . Jan . 2017
  4. Alana

    Yes, burdens. We do seek help but enough has to be done. And the need is only going to be increasing over time.

    05 . Jan . 2017
  5. Marquita Herald

    Excellent advice and something I’ve talked about quite a bit myself over the past month.

    Here’s my favorite quote on that topic – “There’s a luggage limit to every passenger on a flight. The same rule applies to your life. You must eliminate some of the old useless baggage before you can fly.” ~Rosalind Johnson

    Wishing you all the best in this New Year!

    05 . Jan . 2017
  6. Jamie

    This post is so true–it IS hard to lay down your burdens. Sometimes we start carrying them, and don’t even realize how much we are weighed down. Thank you for this thoughtful post–it is a much needed message!

    07 . Jan . 2017
  7. Annette

    Great thought provoking post. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” This is something I try to daily live by.

    27 . Jan . 2017

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