How Not to Carry Heavy Things
I hear this most gentle whisper from One I never guessed would speak to me: “I took the world off your shoulders, freed you from a life of hard labor. You called to me in your pain; I got you out of a bad place.” – Psalm 81:5-7 (MSG)
The world is an impossibly heavy thing.
And yet we do our best to carry it, working and worrying, stressing and burning out as if its survival depends entirely on us. This is not to say we shouldn’t want to carry the world’s hurts and needs in our hearts, but rather that, as with any heavy load, how we carry them matters.
Do we lift from the back or bend at the knees? Do we put down our burdens when we get tired, or do we insist on taking them all the way? Do we carry the load all alone, or do we ask for help? Do we go all “they’re not heavy, they’re my sibling” in our best cheerful-martyr voice? Do we keep inviting others to “lean on us,” or do we set healthy boundaries?
You may be bearing burdens so pressing and personal that they feel as heavy as the whole world—everything from numbing grief, crushing debt, and struggling loved ones to a lifetime of hurt and how to make it through this day.
Well, the same principles apply. The same grace abounds.
You are not called to life-sapping labor, but invited to find rest for your soul. You are not doomed to endless drudgery, but delivered into everlasting freedom. Come on out of your “I got this” hell; new life in God is waiting.
Divine Deliverer, thanks for taking the load off my shoulders and carrying it in your heart.
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.