I came across a very widespread quote the other day that made me stop and think for a few seconds – ‘A lot of what weighs you down isn’t yours to carry.’ Yes, I have seen it before, but for some reason it resonated with me that day. Perhaps it was because I felt an extra burden of being faced with a situation I found both painful and almost impossible to change?
Or maybe it was a by-product of dealing with some difficult cases in my patient advocacy job; ‘turning off’ after work can be a difficult task at times and the thoughts linger – have I done enough? Have I missed something?
Being weighed down with worry, the expectations of others, our own expectations and the situations in our lives that are – no matter how hard we try to change it – beyond our control, are common to the human condition; more common than we might think. We all carry something within us, whoever we might be and whatever our life circumstances are. Jesus understood this: that is why he uttered those immortal words from Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all you who labour 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”.
These words, and the sentiment behind them, do not occur in isolation. Consider this, from Psalm 55:22: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved”
And so we have no need to carry such heavy weights of failure, expectation, brokenness, fear, guilt and despair. Those burdens are not ours to carry, at least not alone. We need to take God at his word here and let go of what holds us back and prevents us from living a life of faith, hope and love – love directed towards others, and ourselves.
All of this is difficult and takes time and effort. But we need to look towards the future, and indeed the present moment, with confidence In God
The American ‘inspirational’ writer, Orison Swett Marden, made the point that: ‘When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. We cannot take more than one step at a time’.
One step at a time. No overwhelming worry. Just one step at a time. Time to let go and let God shoulder the burden, just like he said he would. And remember: ‘A lot of what weighs you down isn’t yours to carry’. So take a deep breath and let it go.
Every blessing on your journey,