What burdens are you carrying right now?
Are you . . .
What are you doing with the burdens from that list? Are you trying to run away from them or forget they exist? Are you hoping that the weight of what you carry will not crush you?
“Escaping” Our Burdens
I don’t know about you, but when I am facing any of the burdens I listed above, it is far too easy to retreat to my phone. Does this help? If all I am doing is scrolling on a screen as a distraction, I never find a valuable escape.
Maybe you understand this experience too. When we scroll on our phones, we are quickly forced to categorize our experiences. While scrolling on a social media platform, I have to categorize my response as either like, love, care, laugh, wow, sad, or angry. While scrolling on another social media platform, I am required to either follow or unfollow someone.
When I switch back to reality, the categorizations are not quite as simple.
Paul’s Counsel for Burdens
In Philippians 4:4–7, the apostle Paul says,
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Did you catch how Paul counsels us to respond amid anxiety and burdens? He tells us to rejoice! He thinks it’s so important that he says it twice.
Facing Burdens the Right Way
Rejoicing helps us move away from the categorizations of likes, dislikes, follows, and unfollows that we are used to on social media. Rejoicing gives us a more useful framework to face our burdens the right way.
If my burden is being tired, I can still rejoice over the children God gave me and be exhausted from the energy it takes to raise little ones in the faith. When I rejoice, I can grieve a loss and love that God turns endings into beginnings.
Rejoicing allows us to carry our burdens with hope.
Jesus Carries Our Burdens
We hope in an all-present and powerful God. Hope allows us to acknowledge the burden of anxiety while also knowing Christ was anxious in the Garden of Gethsemane when He faced an unfathomable situation.
Hope allows us to acknowledge that we have overcommitted ourselves while also knowing that one day, commitment will cease to be a burden and will always be a blessing.
Ultimately, we rejoice in our burdens as a way to acknowledge the grace that is present even when the goodness feels far away.
Rejoicing is a tool to help orient our focus back to Christ.
So stop trying to carry your burdens without hope. Carry your burdens to Christ, who will guard your heart and your mind.
That’s worth rejoicing over.
Learn how the struggle with anxious thoughts can be a training ground for spiritual growth in the Bible study Take Heart: God's Comfort for Anxious Thoughts.