By Anne Peterson, Crosswalk.com
Fears, anxieties, regrets. We all have them. Maybe they are little ones. Maybe they’re regrets like wishing you’d gone to your friend’s wedding. You really let her down. Or maybe they are bigger ones that latch onto you and never let go. Like the one that held me captive for years.
My dad worked a double shift at our family-owned Snack Shop, because our mom was sick. I was the waitress, hearing Dad’s complaints for a few hours till I headed home the six blocks with dinner for my siblings. Settling down on the living room sofa I fell asleep, or at least tried to. My brother walked by and told me, “Mom’s calling you.”
Since I had already spoken to my mom before laying down, I didn’t believe him. I fell asleep. The next morning I awoke to a living nightmare. Mom was being wheeled out by ambulance attendants.
A few days later, our family of six stood before her coffin.
A month later, when Gus shared that account with our dad, dad blamed me. And from that moment on, my decision to not go check on my mom became one of my biggest regrets—a burden I carried alone for years.
Do you have a burden so big you think only you can, or should, carry it? Are you scared about something that threatens your stability and faith
What does it look like to give our burdens to God? And what truths and verses can we cling to in times of crisis? Let’s look at six biblical reasons to look up and let God be our guide:
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash
1. God Is So Big
Matthew 11:28, Jesus tells us that we can come to him when we are weary. That we take his yoke upon us. That means he will bear the weight of what weighs us down. God tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Regrets and fears, on the other hand, weigh us down till we can no longer look up.
Psalm 55:22 tells us we can cast our cares on the Lord and he will sustain us.
God cares about our cares, no matter how insignificant we assume they are. I remember when one of my grandsons couldn’t find his McQueen car. We had looked everywhere but that little car was nowhere in sight.
We prayed about it and I was able to put that little car in his hand and watch a big smile appear on his little face. Whatever concerns us concerns our God.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/fotomaximu
2. God Gave Us Jesus
Romans 8:32 tells us that God did not spare His most valuable possession, but instead, He gave him up for us. And if God gave us Jesus, how can we believe anything we ask God even compares to that?
Titus 3:5 tells us that we could not get to heaven because of the righteous things we had done, but because of God’s mercy, he saved us.
And not only did God not spare his Son, but he also appropriated to us Jesus’ righteousness when we put our faith in what Jesus did on the cross. How can any burden we carry ever compare with that? Yet, somehow, we allow our focus to be swept away by worry in the midst of pandemic fear, natural disasters, grief, and regret.
We give our burdens a prominent place in our lives and day after day, lugging them with us.
You may have heard the story about a young girl who was given a ride. Carefully, she entered the wagon and situated her heavy bag on her lap.
“You can put that down, the driver instructed her. But her response was, “Oh no, sir. It is enough that you have offered me a ride. I cannot expect that you would also carry my load.”
When we became followers of Jesus, God not only invited us to ride with Him, he took all our baggage as well.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Matt Botsford
3. Even Jesus Prayed
Matthew 14:13 tells us that Jesus slipped away from the crowds and got alone in a boat. Jesus sought comfort and guidance from his heavenly Father, as we’re encouraged to do.
Matthew 14:23 tells us Jesus went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Luke 5:16 refers to Jesus slipping away to the wilderness to pray. And in Mark 14:35 he brought a few of his disciples with him and went on a little further to pray.
If God’s own Son found the need to talk to God, how can we think we can get through our lives without prayer?
Photo Credit: ©Pexels/RodolfoClix
4. God Works in Us
In Philippians 1:6, Paul tells us that the one who began a good work in us (when we made the decision to trust Christ), will continue working in us till we are complete. And who better than Paul to tell us that. Remember Paul used to be someone who killed Christians until God got a hold of his life.
It’s not our work that gets us anywhere. As it says in Romans 4:5, our faith is counted for righteousness. Faith in what Jesus already did. And that’s what Jesus referred to in John 19:28-30, when he said. “It is finished.”
Jesus’ work was finished when he died on the cross. Then when we accepted that, God began to work in our lives. In Philippians 2:13 we are reminded that it is God who is at work in us. He is making us like Jesus.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus. And because God is the one who is working in us, we know we are in capable hands. And we know that he will never stop until he is done.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash
5. God Wants Our Trust
The world tells us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. To become independent and to make our own way in the world. But God tells us the very opposite thing. In Proverbs 3:5-6, God tells us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts. In all our ways to acknowledge him and God will be the one to direct us.
The world will always tell us things that are contrary to what God wants. And right now we are here in this world. But Paul reminds us in Romans 12:2, that we are not to be conformed to this world, but instead that we are to be transformed by God’s Word. That’s the only way that we’ll be able to have a renewed mind.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/ipopba
6. God Is Our Father
God is our heavenly father. He loves us more than he loves sparrows, and yet, God knows when even one falls to the ground (Matthew 10:29).
Matthew 7:11 asks if parents know how to give good gifts to children, how much more will he know? I don’t know about you, but I believe I am a loving parent. And sometimes I don’t realize none of that would be possible without God creating me to be that way.
God created everything you can see with your eyes. And even things we don’t see. Every morning he paints a sunset across the sky and every evening he matches it with a sunset. He hung the stars in place and knows their names (Psalm 8:3, Psalm 147:4).
We get to enjoy all he has made.
God knew we would have burdens because Jesus told us that there would be trials in this world (John 16:33). But he also told us that he has overcome the world. God opens his hands and invites us to give him whatever troubles us.
We all make mistakes. We all get overwhelmed, frightened, and worried. But 1Peter 5:7 encourages us: cast your cares on the Lord. Because God cares for us. That’s what love does. And no one loves us more than God does. No one.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Wang Xi
Anne Peterson is a regular contributor to Crosswalk. Anne is a poet, speaker, published author of 16 books, including her latest book, Always There: Finding God's Comfort Through Loss. Anne has also written and published another memoir, Broken: A story of abuse, survival, and hope. Sign up for Anne’s newsletter at www.annepeterson.com and receive a free eBook by clicking the tab. Or connect with her on Facebook.