Burdens unbound

“Can you guys get your cups?”

It’s a simple request, though the object might vary. It’s issued most often because my own hands are full with groceries or keys or whatnot, and because I need the cups to come in for drinking and washing and not getting lost in the car. But the response is often the same: “Ma-am! I can’t! Look at how much I already have!”

Indeed, the kid in question will have full hands, because we can’t seem to manage a five minute car ride with several stuffed animals and books and more whatnot, even though we usually spend the time chatting anyway. They are desperate with burdens, and it prevents then from doing what I really need them to do. Moreover, they haven’t asked for help, direction, or solution. They raise their laden arms for my appraisal, stuck.

Sometimes I feel just like my kids.

“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you,” says the Bible (Psalms 55:22). And when I’m burdened, I do often bring my cares straight to the Lord. But instead of laying them down, I offer them up, still tightly bound in my grasp. Look at these, God. Look what I’m going through. How can I possibly do what you’ve asked of me, when my hands are already so full?

You’re going to have to lay them down, God whispers. But just like the things my kids have, what I’m holding is precious to me. I don’t know what will happen to it. I don’t want to leave it behind.

It’s not God’s problem to help me manage on my own the baggage I could—and should—hand over to Him.

“You do have full hands,” I tell my kids. And I wait. “Can you help?” they ask at last. And when I do, I remind them that next time they might want to bring less. They lay their burdens down, physically, and only then can I pick them up. Meanwhile, the kids bound away cups in hands, free, and I’m reminded that when I come to God with my burdens, I might want to actually lay them down. Free heart, free hands, picking up what He has for me.

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