Lay Down Your Burden

Have you noticed how some things are becoming smaller and lighter these days? The first computer took up an entire building. Now you can hold a mini iPad in the palm of your hand. The first mobile phone looked and felt like a brick with an antenna. Now cell phones can slip into a shirt pocket.

Backpack burden
Then again, not everything is shrinking. I waited behind a school bus the other day as children disembarked, and I was struck by the size and apparent weight of their backpacks. I don’t know how they walk, much less run, with such an obviously heavy burden strapped to their backs. I have a feeling we’re setting up a whole new generation for weekly chiropractor appointments!

Which brings me to the growing weight of things I should not be carrying.

  • Guilt for things I’ve said.
  • Regret for things I should have done, but didn’t.
  • Habits I defend rather than break.
  • Sin I excuse instead of confess.
  • Replaying painful things people said long ago, unable to move past their hurtful words.
  • Unforgiveness that prevents a soul-wound from healing.

 Of course, there is certainly a place for guilt. It drives us to the Cross. And regret for past actions helps us avoid repeating those actions. But when guilt and regret paralyze us instead of teaching us, then they become a burden, along with the other things listed, that we were never meant to carry.

And the weight of all these things becomes heavier with each passing day.

Like me, are you carrying loads you shouldn’t bear? It’s time for us to cast off these burdens. God never meant us to carry things that interfere with our relationship with Him. Christ died to release us from sin and its eternal consequences. The apostle Paul used the analogy of a race to communicate the importance of letting go of anything that hinders us from finishing this journey in a way that honors the Savior. He wrote:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV).

It’s one thing to release our burden of sin at the Cross and received the gift of salvation. But if we don’t continue to let go of our burdens, day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute, the unnecessary weight will bog us down on the way to the finish line. Our children are watching our example. Let’s lighten the load!

What burden do you need to set down today?

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About Ava Pennington

Ava Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker. She moved from New York to Florida, leaving a twenty-year corporate career as a Human Resources executive. But don’t call her retired! She now teaches a weekly, interdenominational Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 300+ women from September through May. Of course, Ava writes. She has written for organizations such as Focus on the Family, Christianity Today, and Haven Ministries. She has also been published in 25 anthologies, including nineteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts International. Ava has also co-authored two children’s picture books, Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? If you’re looking for a speaker, she delights in challenging audiences with relevant, enjoyable presentations. For more information, please visit www.AvaWrites.com.

Comments

Lay Down Your Burden — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you, Ava, for your timely post. I find that I need to examine my heart on a daily basis to determine if I am carrying burdens Jesus did not mean for me to carry. It is a continual process, this journey of sanctification. I praise God for His Precious Holy Spirit Who walks alongside us to reveal what we need to lay at the foot of the Cross.

    Many blessings to you1

    MaryAnn
    ______________________________
    MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA
    Author & Writing Coach
    http://www.maryanndiorio.com

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