There is a Christian song that says lay your burdens down, it has been two days so I don’t really remember the exact song or artist. As I listened to the words in the car, my mind went to the new Pinocchio movie I watched. Unlike the the versions I grew up watching, this version told a backstory. One of things that came out in the movie was about being a burden. It took on different meanings throughout the movie, including Pinocchio thinking certain things were a burden that really were not to his father.
In my own life I often feel like there are burdens that I need to carry because I don’t want to put it on someone else. It doesn’t matter to me if that someone is another person offering help or God. I am trying to do better about receiving help when offered, but I have to struggle when it is a burden. I feel like the Lord has been speaking to me about this because there are some things in my own life that I have chosen not to burden Him with. I can’t even say why because I know that He doesn’t want me to carry them.
When my husband and I drove back to New Mexico after Thanksgiving, we found out we busted another wheel on my car. He had the spare on it, so I could not drive as fast, which is hard since the interstate has been my main route to work three days a week and the speed limit is 75, and even at that cars pass me like I am standing still. My initial thought was “This is the second one, I need a new car.” I planned to trade the car in on the weekend. Talking to someone else, they questioned if it was the wheel that was faulty. After 48 hours decided to just purchase another wheel, but that meant the wheel would not come until the falling week.
We had a Christmas party and the idea of driving somewhere I didn’t know, in the dark where cars can’t tell how fast you’re going, off two interstates just kind of put me off. I messaged the team and said I didn’t think I would be there and explained why. This was met with “Take an Uber.” I did look, but my location doesn’t even get pizza delivery, let alone a scheduled Uber. The app told me to check around the time I needed a ride. So I just let them no, thinking “no big deal.” Well, they were not having it. The director offered to be my personal uber. I just could not allow myself to burden him. We have my spouse’s truck, but I really dislike riding in it for multiple reasons. I promised to come, even if it meant doing that; I was not accepting placing that burden on someone else, despite the offer. The 45 minute drive ended up taking us two hours, as we took other roads that were shut down for a parade so GPS kept trying to guide us back to the interstates or the parade routes. I felt bad for burdening my husband because on the way home it stated raining also.
Another way we often look at burdens as a client told me this week, is the burden was self-inflicted so there is a thought that it makes it ours to carry. There are too many examples in the Bible to think that this is accurate. Abraham and Jacob pretending their wives were their sisters when they went into towns afraid leaders would kill them for their wives. Or Samson with the mess he got himself into repeatedly with Delilah. Peter cutting the ear off the soldier. Adam and Eve in the garden. They are all examples of self-induced burdens that God stepped in to intervene.
The other thought I have about burdens is “it’s not really that big, I can handle it.” I don’t want anyone to help if its big, but if it is small I don’t want help either. It’s absurd. I love when my kids invite me into the intricate details of their lives. My youngest daughter called me to find some resources she figured I would have. I didn’t, but I didn’t mind the few minutes that it took me to help her with her job to make her burden lighter. Yes, God wants me to do what I can, but he cares about the little things. He numbers the hairs on my head. He cares for the sparrows and the lilies. These are small things, but He wants to help carry the burden of knowing the need is met.
Each of these lines of thinking keep me from taking my burden to the Lord and setting it at the foot of the cross. His burden is light, God did not design me to carry heavy burdens. He also doesn’t see my burdens in the same way I do. He is the God of the universe; there is nothing I can put on Him that He is not strong enough to carry. Just like I want to keep my children from carrying burdens that they do not have to, God wants the same for me. It doesn’t matter how big or how small, or why I have the burden He wants me to come to Him. He wants to take it from me. He is not concerned that it was a burden of my own making, He wants to remove it.