All of our backpacks are not created equal! Your pack may be way bigger and heavier than mine. God’s plan is unique for each of us. You can trust Him to provide wisdom and sufficient strength for your individual needs and to live in a godly way, despite the load He may ask you to bear. (2 Pet 1:3-4)
So let’s look at our lives specifically and evaluate what we might be able to eliminate, rearrange, or get someone else to help share our load. Let’s see how we can get relief by releasing our burdens one by one.
- Things out of your control
Hurricanes, a wayward child, etc. are completely out of our control. In these situations, do what you can; release the rest into God’s capable hands (Ps 46:10). Worrying is counter-productive.
- Other people’s responsibilities
We can prevent people from maturing if we take on their responsibilities. Moms, untie those apron strings!
- Other people’s burdens
Help others with their burden, but don’t carry it for them! Ache with them, pray for and with them. Show them how to release it like you are learning to do.
- Other people’s maturity/spiritual growth/salvation
We are each responsible for our own choices and growth. We can only impart knowledge and encouragement to others. The rest is God’s department and the individual’s choice.
- Too busy
Let’s face it, most of us simply have too much on our plates, leaving no room for God. While some seasons are busier than others, you’d be surprised how much you could remove from your plate if you laid your schedule before the Lord. He’ll show you what you can say no to in order to leave room for Him and other important things without undue stress.
- Self-imposed deadlines, tasks, and perfection
Doers are at risk here. (I know that all too well!) Setting unrealistic goals and deadlines adds so much needless stress! Ask God to help you set realistic dates to finish a goal and which projects to undertake. Strive for excellence, not perfection. Then you’ll be able to accomplish those projects the Lord wants you to do and feel good about it!
Have you failed to obey God and haven’t repented? Then confess and repent. You don’t need to carry that guilt, Jesus has taken it away along with your sin!
Sometimes though we take needless pain by blaming ourselves for
- an honest mistake
- an accident
- something we thought we did, but didn’t
- being blessed when others aren’t
This one is so important we will cover it more next time.
Regrets and Failures
We all make mistakes and fail at times—some of which we (and others) are still paying for. We all fall short—that’s why we need the mercy and grace of God. The best thing we can do is to admit them, learn from them, and let God use them for His glory and our good (Rom 8:28).
Pain and Sorrow
The best thing you can do with this heaviness is to face it—not avoid it. By addressing your emotional pain you’ll be able to release it onto the Lord. Otherwise, it just remains hidden in the bottom of your backpack like lead.
Allow your Abba Father to comfort you. Apply whatever He shows you. Without all that baggage, you’ll be able to reach the heights and bring much glory to God with your life.
- Unavoidable busyness
Sometimes it’s not our fault that we have too much going on. During these periods (anytime really), focus on one issue/task at a time.
Releasing your worries to God enables you to concentrate on one thing at a time. You’ll be more efficient and effective because you won’t be wasting time and energy on needless worry. Then afterwards, you’ll have a good sense of accomplishment and confidence to handle those other issues—with God’s help, that is.
If you do it on your own, you’ll likely feel like an octopus on roller skates!
- Family, ministry, job and other God-given responsibilities
We need wisdom for each specific situation. There are no cookie-cutter answers here. So, stay in God’s Word where the Holy Spirit will guide you in how to appropriately apply God’s timeless principles for each individual situation.
And remember—Christianity is not a lone-ranger pursuit. Humble yourself and ask others for help as needed.
So my friends, ask your Lord to help you look at each item in your life’s backpack, so you can get relief by releasing each burden one by one! And stop hauling all that stuff you have no business carrying in the first place!