I went to my bi-weekly Mom's Group meeting this morning where our Pastor's wife was speaking. She was sharing about not being easily offended by things other people say and do. She explained how she would sometimes get offended about things that didn't even happen to her, but to her daughters. When the girls would come home upset about an offense, they would cry & unload it on her, and then they would go about their business and be fine, while she would remain bothered.
Although her point was on not being offended, I was hearing the Lord speak to my spirit about something altogether different. As I listened, I was getting a picture in my mind of how we are to lay our burdens on the Lord.
Just like her daughter's who would feel better after they'd expressed their feelings & discussed their problems with their mother and then felt released, this is what Jesus wants us to do with Him - talk to Him about the things that are bothering us, and then leave our cares & burdens at His feet. After spending time in prayer with our Savior, we should walk away feeling lighter & free. If we pray and still feel anxious, it's usually a pretty good sign that we have just spent time "venting" to the Lord, but not really praying & believing that He is willing and able to hear and answer our prayer...we haven't left our request at His feet, but instead, we've carried it with us.
Next, I was thinking how this same scenario doesn't work as well when we as adults share with one another, like it does when a child talks to their parent. I think one reason why is because we come across as complaining to one another, not really believing that the person we're sharing with has any authority or ability to help us in our circumstances. It's merely a "misery loves company" type encounter. Whereas the child trusts that the parent can help, by either giving advice, comfort, or handling the situation outright, depending on what the case might be.
I am learning that I should go straight to my Heavenly Father, the only one with the power to do something about my problem. If I go to my friends & family first, all I'm able to gain is sympathy as I focus on the circumstance, and not keeping my eyes on Jesus.
The Bible says in Psalm 121:1-2 "I will lift my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made Heaven and earth".Our help comes from the same one who made us, and the only one who can handle anything we give Him!
Don't get me wrong - I'm thankful for my friends & family who I often share my burdens with, but usually so they can pray for me. I know that many times God will use someone in your life to speak into your circumstances and give you wisdom, or will be used to bring healing to an area of brokenness. But such times are ordained by God Himself, not orchestrated by us trying to lay our burdens on people in and of ourselves.
The next time you have a burden, don't automatically pick up the phone, or go to your email, or to that next "church meeting" with the purpose of laying it down with your friends & family...take it to the Lord in prayer, and leave it with Him.
Here are a couple of (well known or "reminder") Bible verses to reflect on:
1 Peter 5:7 "cast all your cares upon him, for He cares for you."
Matt. 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."