I CAN DO IT ALL BY MYSELF, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
(A Lesson in the woes of Self-Sufficiency)
There’s an old song that goes something like this: “Oh, what peace we often forfeit; oh, what needless pain we bear… all because we we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” You may be saying, “I pray and talk to God about everything! Well, I think I do … I talk a lot to God… then why do I still feel like I am weighed down, like I’m carrying the weight of the world upon my shoulders?” When we leave our prayer times feeling like we are still weighed down it maybe because we choose to keep the weight we are bearing. For some reason we have not been able to give it over. We may be afraid to leave it there; or maybe we leave it there and take it back when things seem to be going awry. Another thing, we know the Word says to cast all our cares upon the Lord, but how do we stop the horror flics playing in our heads? These films show us all the negative possibilities; and usually in 3D. They get us thinking about all the woulda, coulda, shouldas in our lives. And if we’re not careful, they can get us to blame, arrest, try, and sentence anyone who may seem suspect-especially ourselves. At the end of the day, we are worn out from carrying painful loads of hurt, doubt and fear. If that isn’t enough, if we allow our pride to enter in, telling ourselves: “you can do it, you don’t need any help! You’re a tough ol’ gal or guy, you’ll make it just fine.” Yes, with that attitude we will be “fine”: fouled up; irrational; neurotic; and emotional! What’s the answer? How do we live out the scripture: “I can do ALL things through Christ”; and quit trying to do everything in our own strength?
I would like to say the answer is easy. Some things are easy to hand over. Others, are not! We are to apply the Word of God to each situation. That’s why it is so important that we are in the Word daily. And yes, we are to spend time on our face before God… telling “Abba” everything; crying it out and also listening. Pray the Word of God back to our Heavenly Father! Declare His promises! God is not a man that He can lie! We are also to enlist others in the body of Christ. We need to share our burdens with our brothers and sisters. We need their prayer support! It is so comforting to know there are others in our corner. Then there is one last thing that will help us to hand over our burdens… it is making sure we have the right image of our Heavenly Father. We need to see that He really is there for us – often helping us when we don’t even realize it. Below is a story my boss told involving his son that showed him how God carries our loads:
He’d just gotten home from work and noticed that the trash needed to be taken out. Even though it was raining, he knew he hadn’t better wait to take it out. As he began to pick up the trash, his son said, “Daddy, let me take out the trash.” He had to of kind a chuckled, thinking about the fact that the trash was bigger than his son was! His son plead, “Daddy, can’t I take out the trash for you?” “Alright!” He lifted up his son who was now holding onto the trash. He put his hand under the trash sack to take the weight off his son and off they went to put out the trash. As they got outside, his son began to get wet, he gently pulled his coat around him; held open the lid of the can; and pushed the trash into the can with his son letting go at just the right time. Once the trash was safely inside the can, he used his body to shield his son from the rain and safely carried him back inside. That’s when the Lord spoke to him. God showed him that, that’s just what God does for us: He picks us up; carries our loads when we don’t even recognize that it is He who is carrying them; shelters us from the storms of life and loves us through all of it! And you may ask WHY? The answer is just simply because He loves us! It isn’t because we’ve been “good”; or because we have earned it. He carries our burdens because HE LOVES US! He loves us with an eternal love that is beyond human comprehension!
It is the hope of this writer that the next time we find ourselves carrying a heavy load of the “trash” this world has thrown at us, that we will envision our precious Heavenly Father holding us close to his breast; protecting us during the storms in this life; carrying us; and being the real bearer of our loads.