7.18.2012

Dropping the Backpack

 

Years ago, I attended a youth group meeting with my sister and my nephews.  The youth pastor was talking to the teens about the challenges they were dealing with as emerging adults: peer pressure, difficulties at home, dating drama, academics, self-esteem issues, long-term goals, etc.

I sat there thinking, I'm so glad I'm not a teenager anymore.  The teen years are full of disappointments and angst.

But, then the pastor referenced Matthew 11:30, which reads, "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  He went on to say that the world is full of trouble; Jesus told us we'd have trouble.  He also said He has overcome the world.

The pastor reiterated Matthew 11:30 in his own words. "God's burden is light.  That means...if your burden is heavy, it's not from God."

I spent a long time thinking about this.  I didn't have teenage burdens, but I certainly had adult burdens.  My husband and I were still in the throes of raising three children and hoping to get it right; we were always pinching pennies; the Air Force moved us every few years; and we rarely lived close to family.  Not life-threatening stuff, but things about which I was always praying.  The truth is, life often feels burdensome.

This young pastor changed my perspective.  His words made me realize if I was feeling burdened, I had not given God my backpack of concerns.  I needed to let the thing slide off my shoulders.  I needed to - literally - lighten up.  Light is from God; heavy is not.

Our shoulders and hearts are not designed to carry heavy; we're stick people with short-term brains and breakable hearts.  God's shoulders are made of granite; His heart and mind cannot be moved, nor broken.  He alone can lift up the burdens of this world.

Once I processed this, I had a sense of liberation.  God did not create me to be worried and burdened.  He created me to rejoice in His strength and willingly give Him the backpack.  That's my job.  

Just give Him the backpack.

Once it begins to feel heavy, hand it over.

Over the years, I've remembered this at times and forgotten it at others.  We cling to our backpacks because we forget that God is trustworthy.  We simply forget.  Because, we're stick people with distractable brains and fickle hearts.

Luckily, God loves us anyway and keeps reaching for the crippling backpacks.  "Let it go," He whispers.  Sometimes we wrestle Him over it, which is really silly.  Granite vs. sticks.  Solid vs. inconsistent.  Strong vs. weak.

We're so human.  And He's so not.

And, isn't that great? 

 p.s. what's in your backpack today?  What's keeping you from handing it over? 
 




32 comments:

Creations By Cindy said...

Oh yes our Lord is to be trusted and He is Our hope! Good message today. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Mari said...

Thanks for sharing this - good post!

acommonsea said...

I think we all have an ingrained desire to control things. It's really hard to relinquish that control, even if it just adds to our troubles.

I'm a constant worrier. I pray about it and at times I can find some peace.. right up until the next worry comes along. I need to hand over my backpack of worries. :)

~Lynn

Marianne said...

Love this. God got my backpack, purse, and brief case years ago. That stuff was heavy.

Diane said...

We so often forget to hand the heavy stuff over to God. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Arlee Bird said...

Not sure why so many people like to burden themselves. I guess they're not happy with the easy answer. You explain things nicely. Too bad the people who need to hear it most will be unlikely to listen.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Farida of In Love With Sunflower said...

Just last week I was in deep water deciding hard whether I should quit or not. I knew God was talking to me through various means and I really poured my heart to Him, asking for strength and courage.

I quit and I thank God that He enabled me to do it.

Have a great week! :D

Melanie said...

Ever since a friend told me about handing things over to God, several years ago, I have worked on doing just that. Recently, Hubby and I were discussing just that thing, and came to the realization that giving it over to God doesn't mean that you don't still need to follow His directions. It just means that you give up trying to control something you have no real control over and listening to The One Who is always there to give us direction if we would only stop to listen. My load feels so heavy at times, but it's refreshing to know that lightening it is just a small step away - whenever I decide to give up control.

Michael Ann said...

Beautiful. Needed to hear that today, thank you!

Blessed Serendipity said...

Such a thought provoking post today and very well written. Thank you for writing this today. Blessings!

xo,
Danielle

Lynn Proctor said...

it reminds me of a minister, joseph prince---his sermons lately have been about "resting" in the finished work of Jesus--not until all of our problems are gone but "until God has made all of Jesus' enemies, His footstool"----this is the second time today i have shared this, because a friend has had a similar fb status or your blog--God is moving--thanks mare :)

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

It's like an instant relief when I let it go. It's too much on our own!

Jennifer Forbes said...

Spot on Mare.

We humans fill our backpacks with our need to control in my opinion and in all honesty it's something I've struggled with in the past.

We forget that all we need to do is have faith that our belief of God and his love for us lifts that weight off our backs and removes that worry from our hearts.

Betsy Schow said...

I agree. I use the backpack Metaphor whenever I teach meditation in yoga. Thanks for the post!

finishedbeingfat.blogspot.com
betsyschow.blogspot.com

Judy said...

Great great post. We often make life so much more difficult than it needs to be by holding on to the burdens rather than letting go and trusting Him. Thanks for the reminder!

Emmy said...

Thank you for this! Yes, as parents we see our kids and want to help them and remove the bad things happening to them- but as grownups I think we often just think we are adults now and have to take it on-- but we don't. We are supposed to turn it over.
Thank you for this reminder.

Craziness abounds said...

I think I'm keeping myself from turning it over. Stubborn as a mule I want answers now and He gives them when he's ready. All I have to do is wait and trust. Great post!

That corgi :) said...

I hadn't thought of God's burden being light like this in relationship to this passage, a favorite of mine. I like the thought if my burden is heavy, I do need to give it to God indeed! Worry about son is usually my biggest burden, need to remember to turn that over to God and then not take it back again :)

betty

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Yes yes yes I so agree with this and well said, I think that is the reason I am not a big worrier I trust in God to help me with the burden of lifes problems........

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

A minister I knew put it quite simply: Let go, and let God. Super post.

Renae said...

I'm not sure if I have a backpack today. Yesterday I did... I guess I handed it over yesterday.

Wanted to thank you for your comments on my post today! I enjoyed your post today as well. I liked your granite vs sticks analogy.

Thanks again!

Goku shrestha said...

yes , god certainly didn't create us just to get worried :)

Lynn said...

I do have a hard time turning things over to God, as much as I pray for guidance. I just had two answered prayers though - our family home is under contract (both parents died) - it's been on the market for two years. And I was desperately seeking a new job because I wasn't making enough money, but I was so torn, because I love my coworkers. And then my current job offered me another position within the company with more money. Thanks be to God.

Misha Gericke said...

Beautifully written!

There are so many times when I'm about to think I can't handle life any more, only to remember that I'm not supposed to handle it. God is.

I honestly think that I can't be reminded of this enough.

Maryann said...

I can hear myself saying...thats okay, I've got it (I tend to forget I am a stick person with a distractable brain...love that phrase!)This can be a daily choice for me...giving it to God...then letting him keep it

Tamera Brose said...

I don't want to burden others. I am a control freak. I don't want God to be disappointed in me (which He is not, but I forget that). I get so wrapped up with "stuff" that I forget to let go. I need to remember what that wise youth pastor said.

baju muslim murah layali said...

Thank you for taking the time to write on this topic.

Jerralea said...

Mare, what a wonderful post! You are so right: "God did not create me to be worried and burdened." Why can't I just get that? It's not my job to worry.

I love what you said: Just give Him the backpack!

Kelly said...

This is SO great!!! Wow!!! Something I struggle with constantly! Thank you so much for this encouragement and for linking up @ Into the Word Wednesday!

kim said...

Great analogy and a perfect reminder that we are not to live a life of worry. My backpack is definitely finances-and I would really like to give that up!

Heather Murphy said...

I have SUCH a hard time with this! Thank you for the reminder. I need to give up my backpack because I am in way over my head!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Beautifully written! We all lug our backpacks around from time to time, when they are much too heavy!