Giving our burdens to the Lord

Giving our burdens to the Lord, from Sally McClung's blog

In dealing with unanswered prayers, it was shared at her memorial service that Joy Dawson said "I will not insult God with unbelief."  I've been "chewing" on that.  It's a simple statement, but a very profound one.  God never promised us that He'd answer every single prayer we uttered, but He has promised us over and over again in the Word that we can have friendship, fellowship, and intimacy with Him.  However, that relationship with Him will be hindered if our hearts are filled with any unbelief.

One of my treasures from the last 8 difficult years is the precious fellowship I've had with the Lord.  I've had to cling to Him in the midst of the difficulties and challenges.  He has been my Rock, my Anchor, my Shelter as I've walked through the storms.  He has held my hand, He has whispered encouragement into my heart, and He has guided my steps when I've not known the way to go.  His mercies have been new every morning.  His power has been made perfect in my utter weakness.  His grace has been more than sufficient for every need.  He has filled my heart so full to overflowing with His goodness that there is no room for doubt or unbelief.  He has been so, so good to me!

When we don't see immediate answers to prayer - or even more importantly, answers to prayers that we have lifted up for months, even years - the enemy loves to come and whisper his lies in our ears.  Lies that God doesn't care, and that He's incapable of answering our prayers.  He'll say it in subtle ways, but he'll do his best to lure us away from the Father.  That's why we have to continually press into the Lord in our relationship - come what may!  We can't allow any opening, any foothold for unbelief to enter in.

A powerful protection is proclaiming the promises of the Word - declaring them to ourselves and to the enemy.  I have found that singing songs of worship of who God is lifts my emotions and my spirit when I'm feeling low.  Speaking and singing the truth of who God is defeats the whispers of the enemy.....and fills any crack where unbelief could enter in. 

I can't honestly say right at this moment that I would willingly go through these last difficult years again - the pain is a little too fresh still I think.  But I can say with absolute sureness that I wouldn't have wanted to miss the richness of fellowship that has come as I've had to press into the Lord over and over again in the midst of the pain.  The intimacy with Him is a precious gift that I wouldn't have wanted to miss.  I am beyond grateful for His closeness.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29:13 

"I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  Ephesians 3:16-19

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"  Psalm 34:8

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."  2 Corinthians 10:3,4

"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."  Deuteronomy 31:8

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  Isaiah 41:10

"My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you."  Psalm 63:5

With promises such as these, there is no room for any unbelief in our hearts.  God is good and faithful and will be by our side whatever we face!

I was chatting with a friend this week about the burdens on our hearts.  Between us we had a number of burdens we are carrying - for family and for friends.  Needs.  Concerns.  Problems we're trying to solve.  Anxieties.  Decisions.  Protection.  Difficulties.  Trials.  Loss.  Illness.  Grief.  Financial hardship.  Trauma.  Broken relationships.  Marital tensions.  The list is long - the weights seem heavy.

We then began to talk about giving our burdens to the Lord.  He tells us to do that.  He knows we can't carry them - it's too much for us.  Every day, sometimes several times a day, I give my burdens to the Lord.  I speak them out, one by one.  I confess to the Lord how they weigh me down.  I ask Him to take them from my heart and mind.  When they come back - I give them to Him again.

Some years ago I was so heavy hearted with burdens.  I gave them to the Lord, but they would bounce back into my heart and into my thinking.  I read the verse about "casting our burdens" on the Lord.  As an physical act of what I was doing spiritually, I took a small throw pillow and threw it across the room.  It was symbolic to me of what I was wanting to do in giving my burdens to the Lord.  Every time I was tempted to take them back, I remembered throwing that pillow. :)

I'm so grateful that the Lord invites us to give our burdens to Him.  His shoulders are big enough to carry our cares!  And He clearly invites us, instructs us even, to give them to Him.  He cares for us and doesn't want us carrying the burdens.

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved."  Psalm 55:22 

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for us."  1 Peter 5:7

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."  Philippians 4:6

"Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"  Matthew 6:27

"I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears."  Psalm 34:4

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him."  Romans 8:28 

There have been times when I've felt like one of those big cargo ships with hundreds of containers stacked on it.  My burdens felt so big, so numerous, so heavy.  Then I realized I'm carrying them, and not giving them to the Lord.

At other times I've felt like I'm trying to walk in a mud pit, but I'm not getting anywhere.  Or running a never-ending marathon.  Any of these types of feelings reveal that we're not giving our burdens to the Lord.  They are robbing us of joy, peace, and freedom.

I take time to mention each burden, speak it out, as I give it to the Lord.  I quote the verses where God tells us to give Him our burdens.  There have been times when I can feel the weights being lifted from my heart and mind as I do this.  He is a faithful burden bearer.  He wants us to give our burdens to Him.  I'm so grateful for that!

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