A professor once showed the students in his class a glass of water. He asked them to guess how much it weighed. Various suggestions were given.
The professor said he hadn’t actually weighed it, but asked, “what would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?” “Nothing”, the students replied. “Ok! What would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?” the professor asked. “Your arm would begin to ache” said one of the student “You’re right. Now what would happen if I held it for a day?” “Your arm could go numb. You might have severe muscle stress, and paralysis, and end up in hospital,” one student replied. “Very good”, said the professor. “But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?” “No”, the class responded. “Then what should I do now to stop the pain?” asked professor again. “Put the glass down!” said one of the students. “Exactly!” said the professor.
The message today is very simple and starts with a question. What weight are you carrying that you shouldn’t be? Is it shame, that someone has put on you, or that you feel about yourself? Is it anxiety about what might or might not happen tomorrow? Is it unforgiveness towards yourself or others? Is it a sense of failure; not being or achieving what you, or others, expect of you? The list goes on, but you get the picture. What is it that you’re carrying around day after day?
From the illustration above, you can understand that, when that burden you carry around started out, it didn’t seem too bad. It didn’t weigh that much. You tried to shrug it off and ignore it. But the longer you allow yourself to carry it around with you, the heavier it gets. That’s bad enough, but, just as in the illustration, it slowly but surely affects your life. It damages your soul (mind, will and emotions). It causes depression. It can even affect your physical body in the form of arthritis, headaches and feeling constantly tired and weak.
The answer is a simple one, but seems at times so hard to do. Put it down! Give to Jesus that burden you’re struggling with, that’s crippling you. Why? Well, why not? After all you’ve probably tried everything the world has to offer to deal with it, and it hasn’t worked. You may have tried what you think is the right Christian response; the ‘more’ approach – pray more, fast more, read the Bible more, give more, go to church more.
All those things are fine and good in many ways, but you don’t actually need to do more. You need to give it to the One who died for you, the One who carries your shame if you just let Him, the One who tells you to cast your burdens on to Him and He will carry them, the One who tells you to forgive yourself and others because He’s already forgiven you. You need to accept that, and do likewise. He’s the One who took your place on the cross, and longs for you to put down that sense of failure, and accept His unconditional love.
So, today, what have you got to lose? Put down all that ‘stuff’ you’re carrying. Give it to Jesus and let it go.
Prayer: Dear Lord, You know how long I’ve been carrying around this burden, so long that it seems part of me, and I haven’t realised the way it’s been crippling me in body, soul and spirit. I’m so tired. I’m not going to put this off another week, day, hour or minute. Right now, I choose to put it all down. I choose to give my burdens to You. I don’t ask You to take it, because I know I must give it to You, and really let it go. So, I do that right now. Thank You, Jesus, that I am free. Amen.
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