Author Jeannine Seery
“Pick me up, Mommy.”
I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve heard those words in the past eight years. Most times, I’ve gladly complied with the request. But as the years pass, it’s quickly becoming more difficult to do.
My children are quite a bit larger than they once were. While it may be quite easy to whisk up a whining one-year-old, toting around a three-and-a-half-year-old is a totally different story. For one, it slows me down quite a bit. Have you ever tried to flag down a school bus while running with a very large toddler in your arms? Most of the time, you don’t make it.
So with all the carrying I’ve been doing, I’ve been thinking about what I carry with me when I come to spend time with God. When I sit down to open up His Word, what am I holding onto that might distort my view? Are the trials and tribulations of life causing me to see His character in an unrealistic light? What items are getting in the way of correctly seeing where He’s leading me? Are there worries and anxieties weighing me down? Is unresolved anger or bitterness skewing my perspective? Most importantly, how can I find my way free of these things in order to commune more fully with Him?
Psalm 68:19 sheds light on my questions: “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (NIV). There is a reason why I find it so difficult to see God accurately when I’m carrying these things—I’m just not meant to do it. Day by day, He calls me to come and pour the weight of my burdens on Him. In exchange, He gives me His load to bear, a load that is “easy” and a burden that is “light” (Matt 11:30).
It’s hard to comprehend that the One who poured His life out for us encourages us to pour our burdens on Him. It seems somewhat indulgent to ask the God who sentenced His Son to death in our place to lighten our somewhat insignificant daily load. Yet we are each implored, “Cast your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Pet 5:7 NIV). Not because He is more capable of dealing with our burdens (He is), or because they are too heavy for us to bear (they are), but because He wants to carry them; the incomprehensible love He has for each of us prompts Him to do so. He knows that when we place the burdens we carry squarely upon His back we are able to achieve greater intimacy with Him. What our Father wants most of all is for us to look upon His face with nothing at all impeding our view. Should we ever worry that our load is too much for Him to bear, He reassures us that “his compassions never fail. They are new every morning” (Lam 3:22–23 NIV).
Only when the weight of our world is cast appropriately upon the one who holds the world in His hands are we able to live to our fullest potential in Christ. We can follow His lead and obey His commandments because we are unencumbered. We can see clearly where He calls us to go because nothing obstructs our vision. We can singularly focus our energy on what He has called us to do because we are free from outside distractions. We are much less likely to stumble and fall because there is nothing between us and God. Our gaze can be fixed upon Him.