I’ve totally been feeling the weight of life lately. It seems like the last few weeks have just been one thing after another, after another. And I’m not breaking, but have definitely been feeling weighed down.
Today I was driving and listening to my Entreleadership book on tape. And it hit me. Yet again, I have been taking on too much myself. Now of course, when I write this I know that it can be interpreted different ways. My daily schedule is pretty hectic. But that’s not what I mean.
I mean stress. I take all this stuff of life and I carry it myself, like I was alone and meant to carry it all. And that’s not right. Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest . . ” Another version says “burdened” instead of “heavy laden”. Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you”.
I’ve said it before, but being a parent really brought a new understanding of God’s love for us. And as I drove I thought about watching my kids take on a task that is a bit much for them. Of course I want them to grow and learn in life. And to do that, they will have to go outside of their comfort zone often. But there are other times.
Like when I saw my son trying to carry way too many grocery bags in from the van. It was so heavy he could barely pick them all up. I told him I would help. He said no, he had it all himself. Then a bag caught on the doorway and ripped. There were groceries all over. This is actually a scene that has happened in my house on several occasions. There are different endings to this scene actually.
1) One ending is that the child is so proud that he made it in to the kitchen with the bags, that he doesn’t care that the bag ripped. BUT he still has to pick up the stuff that fell; and sometimes something is damaged in the fall.
2) Another ending is that the child gets frustrated, mad, and embarrassed that he didn’t make a flawless trip all by himself. On occasion I’ve heard the child ask why I didn’t jump in and help . . even though I’d already offered to help and been declined. Then I either shake my head at their misdirected anger. Or I point out to them how they can’t be angry at me for not doing something, when I had already offered and they had refused. Or further more, sometimes I point out that they could have still asked me to help after they refused . . and I would have been there to help – because I love them and care about them.
3) And sometimes, the child sees that it would just work better if I helped. Yes they could do it themselves. But, I’m standing there . . and I’ve offered to help. It might just be easier to let me help. I’m not implying they couldn’t do it themselves in any way. They just weren’t strong enough yet to carry all the bags themselves. Or the bags made too big of a load for one person to carry.
Now take that small example and replace me, the mom, with God. Replace my child, with me or you. And replace the groceries with life.
It was a little more clear to me. And I prayed. It’s great to want to do things and be responsible. But, it’s even greater to know that I never walk alone. One of these days, I’ll remember this before I stress myself to the point of tears. And just like when my child gets to the point of tears and I give them a great big hug filled with love and understanding; I know God hugs us with his love and understanding which is crazy bigger than mine could ever be.
Tonight I am thankful for the reminder today that I am never alone. I am thankful for giving up this weight I’ve been carrying myself. And I am thankful for God always loving me (and you!) no matter how many times we make the same mistake over and over and over again!