I try to get my little granddaughters out for a walk each and every day. The fresh air is good for all of us. It is also a great time to exercise my dogs. In the winter however it is quite difficult as the paths are covered with snow, which is often deep enough to make pulling the sleigh a task that is getting beyond me physically, when it is loaded down with 50-60 pounds of little girls in winter attire.
A friend who often walks with me started to get after me about training my largest dog, Denver to pull the sleigh for me. At first, I had a lot of excuses for not doing this: it meant extra work to train him, would it actually work, was it safe, was it fair that he would have to work while the other dogs ran freely? Still my friend kept after me. So one day I decided to try hitching Denver up to the sleigh in our driveway and got him to pull it up the hill to the house. My two year old granddaughter shrieked with joy as he did so. And Denver actually seemed to really enjoy the job.
After practicing a number of times over several days with him, I attempted our first walk with the loaded sleigh along the paths. Denver excelled, with ease, at his task and didn’t seem to mind at all that he had to work while the others ran free. He actually acted like he was very proud to be doing this job and helping out.
This little lesson, of learning to lay my sleigh pulling burden down and allowing Denver to pick it up for me, reminded me of the promise Jesus gave to us:
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
For many years I wearied myself by seeking to carrying my own burdens instead of allowing God to carry them for me? Burdens such as guilt, failure, insecurity, worry, anxiety, loneliness, fear and the like. And why did I do so? A lack of faith was definitely one reason. I worried whether God cared enough to help me and whether I could trust Him to do the job properly! Another reason was a lack of discipline to train my thoughts to think of God first amidst any and all problems that arose and then to place them in His hands and to leave them there, or to pray and listen for His guidance and then to obey it. Lastly, I needed to learn humility. I needed to understand that I didn’t have to do everything myself. I could trust Someone else to carry or help me carry any and every burden that came my way. And what a relief it has been over the years since I learned these lessons to let go and to trust the Lord with my burdens, for indeed I did find rest for my soul.
How about you? Are you still trying to carry your own burdens or have you too learned to let God do the job? If so wonderful. If not, what are you waiting for? Go to Him you who are weary and burdened and He will indeed give you rest for your soul.
Prayer: Father God, thank You so much that we can come to You at any time and in any place and cast our care upon You and You will willingly pick it up and provide rest for our souls as we trust in Your faithfulness to care for us and our burdens. In Christ’s name we ask. Amen.