Across the Pastor’s Desk: Give all of our burdens to God
Published 8:00 pm Friday, August 18, 2023
Across the Pastor’s Desk by Jill Marin
My friend, are you carrying burdens today? Sometimes we are well aware of the burdens we carry — worry, doubt, depression, stress and more. At the same time, we may be carrying burdens we are not even aware of — unforgiveness, grudges, fear and the like. We can be so busy with our everyday lives that we can cover over and push these burdens to the background rather than dealing with them.
The scriptures instruct us to, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” — 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
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This is sometimes easier said than done. Why is that? Nothing seems easier than just being able to give all of our worries and cares over to another, and not have to carry them any more.
Several things can get in the way and make this process hard. These can include doubt, unawareness and a sense of injustice.
We can doubt that God cares about us. We can look at our lives which, let’s be honest, do not always go according to our own plans. We can even feel God doesn’t see us or know us, and we can see others as more blessed and honored by God. Maybe we don’t even trust God. We can focus on our troubles and feel God doesn’t care about us.
However, even our troubles work for our good. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” — Romans 8:28
We can be unaware of the burdens we carry, suppressing them into our subconscious. We can all take a moment, get away from distractions and take an inventory of ourselves. Are past circumstances still haunting us? Are fear or anger affecting our lives today? Do we have our priorities in order? Are we living in physical, mental, and spiritual wellness? Are we holding grudges? Understanding ourselves is key. “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.” — Proverbs 3:13
We can withhold forgiveness of others, and this can be one of the greatest burdens we place on ourselves. The sense of injustice we feel may even be well warranted. Perhaps the offender has even intentionally repeatedly attempted to cause harm to us. We must still forgive. Jesus said, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” — Matthew 6:14-15
Forgiving does not mean that what the offender did was right or OK. It means we are making the choice to forgive and are turning the situation over to God. He knows exactly what happened, and he is the righteous judge. Releasing forgiveness turns the key on the jail cell, freeing us from the bitterness and resentment caused by the situation. It cuts the cord of connection that keeps bringing us down when we are reminded of it.
My friend, it’s time to give all of our burdens to God. “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’” — Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
Jill Marin is a pastor at Grace Christian Church.