My boys love “hiking”…“hiking” in apostrophes because my boys like the idea of “hiking” but not the amount of walking it entails.
On one particular “hike” a couple years ago…my youngest Bryce was intrigued by the rocks along the path. He frequently stopped to examine rocks in all shapes and sizes…consequently slowing us down quite a bit.
And soon enough…as expected…he complained of being tired stating that he couldn’t walk anymore.
I really didn’t want to pick up my 30lb Bryce…but thank goodness we were already on the way back.
So I lifted him up and to my surprise I was immediately confronted with an extreme weight change…Bryce was much heavier than usual. And that’s when I realized he had placed some rocks…many rocks! …in his pockets…every pocket!
No wonder he was so tired of walking! If only he knew how much these rocks weighed him down making it difficult for him to continue walking.
With the New Year approaching….many of us are looking to set new goals…begin new resolutions…start new beginnings.
I know we are quick to begin fresh each New Year but what about what we left behind the previous year? As much as we would like to forget the struggles…the challenges…the pain from the previous year…they just don’t really disappear or go away. Do they?
What burdens are you carrying into this New Year? Like Bryce…are you carrying some heavy “rocks” that are weighing you down?
Maybe you experienced difficulties in your family relationships this past year whether it be with your spouse or children…
Maybe you received a diagnosis that had you so worried you haven’t been able to function on a daily basis…
Maybe you are emotionally drained from suffering a painful loss of a loved one…
Maybe after having tried and tried, you can’t seem to find a job and you are now struggling to pay your monthly bills…
Maybe you have been carrying multiple challenges in your life that have weighed you down leaving you feeling tired…weary…flat out exhausted!
What about the by-product of these life challenges such as unforgiveness…or anger…or bitterness…or worry…or anxiety…or fear?
These burdens…whether we realize them or not…weighed us down this past year and will continue to weigh us down in the New Year…because a New Year doesn’t just erase our problems.
These life challenges are real and can be very stressful…I am certainly not denying that.
But how can we lighten the load so these burdens don’t continue to weigh us down in the New Year?
We just celebrated the birth of our Savior Jesus on Christmas…Did you catch that?
Our Savior…Jesus…who just so happens to be our Deliverer…our Restorer…our Healer…our Comforter…our Provider! And our so much more!
The very Jesus that the Bible says to cast our burdens upon…so that He will sustain us!
Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you… Psalm 55:22a NASB
There are so many burdens that we are just not meant to carry…and Jesus wants us to cast them upon Him…Why?
Because His shoulders are broader and stronger than ours…Because He can carry much more weight than we can…because He can handle our burdens much better than we can…because He is meant to carry a greater load…our load!
So how exactly can we lighten our load…especially as we head into this New Year?
Psalm 55:22 says to “cast” our burdens upon the Lord.
The word “cast” comes from the Hebrew shalak and is translated “to throw out, down or away; hurl, pluck, throw.”
This means that we need to intentionally “cast”…“throw”…“hurl” our burdens upon the Lord.
Interestingly, doesn’t the word “throw” imply a more forceful connotation? …I mean it’s not saying to merely “give” our burdens to the Lord. Think about “giving” something to someone versus “throwing” something to someone. There is a difference…right?!
Furthermore…when we cast our burdens upon the Lord…it doesn’t mean that instead of carrying them with 2 arms that now we continue to carry them under one arm.
It’s like with anything that you would throw out or throw away…you don’t go back, grab it and continue to hold onto it…do you?
I absolutely love this quote…
To those who have had no agony Jesus says, “I have nothing for you; stand on your own feet, square your own shoulders. I have come for the man who knows he has a bigger handful than he can cope with, who knows there are forces he cannot touch; I will do everything for him if he will let Me. Only let a man grant he needs it, and I will do it for him.” Oswald Chambers
When we do our part…God will do His!
When we cast our burdens upon Him…He will sustain us!
The word “sustain” is defined “to provide what is needed for (something or someone) to exist, continue, etc; to hold up the weight of (something); to give support or relief to”
Casting our burdens upon the Lord doesn’t necessarily mean our challenges are over or our problems are solved.
To cast our burden upon God, is to rest upon his providence and promise. And if we do so, he will carry us in the arms of his power, as a nurse carries a child; and will strengthen our spirits by his Spirit, so that they shall sustain the trial. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
Casting our burdens upon the Lord does mean that Jesus will sustain us…It does mean that Jesus will strengthen us so that we can have hope…peace…even joy…as we face our challenges.
And the key to experiencing this peace and joy is…Trust. Trust Jesus.
Many times we place our trust in everything else…everything but Jesus. Think about that for a minute…
We place trust in people…
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8 KJV
We place trust in things…
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help And rely on horses, And trust in chariots because they are many And in horsemen because they are very strong, But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD! Isaiah 31:1 NASB
We place trust in money…
Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17 NLT
We place trust in understanding…
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Proverb 3:5 NIV
When place our trust in Jesus…Jesus alone… and cast our burdens upon Him…we will get through life’s challenges with less stress…greater hope…greater peace…greater joy! And we will experience God’s greater care and love for each of us.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1Peter 5:7 NIV
This New Year…let’s begin afresh trusting Jesus more than ever and believing that when we intentionally cast our burdens upon him that He will sustain us.
So that we may enter the New Year free of the heavy burdens that we were never meant to carry! And free to move forward and ahead into the plans and purposes that God has for each of us!
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NLT
- What burdens are you carrying into this New Year?
- Are you burdened by the by-product of life challenges such as unforgiveness…or anger…or bitterness…or worry…or fear?
- How can we lighten the load so these burdens don’t continue to weigh us down in the New Year?
- Do you trust Jesus…or everything else to get through life’s challenges?
- Life’s challenges can be heavy burdens to carry. And the by-products of life challenges such as unforgiveness…or anger…or bitterness…or worry…or fear…can weigh us down more than we know.
- We can lighten our load as we enter the New Year by casting our burdens upon Jesus because His shoulders are broader and stronger than ours…because He can carry much more weight than we can…because He can handle our burdens much better than we can…because He is meant to carry a greater load…our load!
- The key to casting our burdens upon the Lord is Trust. Trust Jesus. Let’s not place trust in people…things…money…understanding. These things are unreliable. Jesus is fully reliable…fully trustworthy! Let’s trust Him more this New Year and experience greater hope…greater peace…and greater joy knowing He is in control!