Thursday 14th March
1 Peter 5:7
I recently read a wonderful illustration of how carrying burdens can affect your daily life.
“A lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience,
Raised a glass of water and asked
‘How heavy is this glass of water?’
Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.
The lecturer replied, ‘The absolute weight doesn’t matter.
It depends on how long you try to hold it..
If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.
In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.’
‘And that’s the way it is with stress management.
If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later,
As the burden becomes increasingly heavy,
We won’t be able to carry on. ‘
‘As with the glass of water,
You have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.
When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.’
‘So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don’t carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow.”
This great example of the consequences of holding onto burdens can live as a reminder of the danger that it has. The weight of our burdens however big or small increasingly becomes heavier throughout our lives if we do not lay it at the feet of Jesus. The only difference between this example and what the Bible teaches us, is that once the burden is laid down at the feet of Jesus, there is no need to pick it up again. It is dealt with. Finished. The price has been paid for. The weight of our burdens disappears at the finished work of the cross.
1 Peter 5:7 tells us that we should give our cares to Jesus. Why? Because He cares for us. Jesus cares about the smallest of things to the largest weight and He is ready to take our burdens from us. This also requires humility to know that there is someone greater than ourselves and that we don’t have to try to fix everything in our own strength.
Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 shares a similar message using the imagery of yoke. There are many interpretations from this text but the underlying tone is that of a God who wants to release us from our burdens and carry them for us. The laws of the Pharisees often became a heavy a burden for people to obey and carry. Jesus describes it as a yoke. A yoke was designed to keep an ox or oxen together as they ploughed the fields and to make sure that they kept in a straight line. Jesus reassures His listeners that His yoke is easy. His ways are not burdensome like the Pharisees endless laws that burden the people of Israel. Why? Because Jesus is next to you helping you. He has already lived the perfect life and carried our burdens for us. Now He lives to help us in our lives and to set us free from the weights that hold us down. Not only does He liberate us from the laws burdens but gives us grace to carry on and follow Him. He helps us worship Him.
What’s in your glass today? How long have you held it for and is your arm aching from carrying it? I encourage you today. Leave it at the cross and feet of Jesus. His yoke is easy and light. No matter what you carrying, once laid down, don’t pick it up again. He cares for YOU!