Sometimes I carry a lot of weight. Not physical weight like one would carry a load of groceries or a little extra weight around my waist line, but weight that stems from excessive worry, perceived fear, unnerving anxiety, and relational stress. This is the weight that is much heavier than a couple sacks of groceries and much more difficult to put down. These are the weights that steal your joy and take the fun out of life because they are exhausting to carry for any period of time.
The good news is that you don’t have to carry the weight alone. God wants to help you, he is standing next to you with strong arms and the willingness to carry more than what you are giving him right now. In the same way that you would hand heavy sacks of groceries to a helper, you can hand your heavy worries, fears, anxieties, and relational stresses to God. 1 Peter tell us how to do this. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
This verse reveals three steps that must be taken in order to have God help you carry the heavy burdens on your heart. First, Peter tells us to humble ourselves before God. This means we must admit to God that we need his help. God isn’t standing idle just watching you struggle. He wants to help, you just need to ask Him. When my daughter, Sara, was six, she wanted to carry her own hockey bag into the ice arena. The bag full of her skates, gear, tape, uniform, and everything else was about the same size as her and a little heavier. I opened the back of the van and she picked up the bag placing the strap over her shoulder. Then she grabbed her stick and started to walk into the area. Within twenty feet I could tell she was really struggling to carry the bag. I asked her if she needed help and she said “No, I can carry it.” Then she started to wobble with each step and the bag began to sway. Ten feet in front of the door she dropped the bag and asked for help. Immediately I picked up the bag and carried it to the locker room for her. I was willing and able to help her carry it the whole time, but she was unwilling to let me. When it comes to asking God for help, know that he is willing and able to help you, you just need to ask him.
The second step is to hand the weight to Him. Peter tells us to “cast all your anxiety on him.” The same goes for your fears, worries, relational stress, and any other weight you are carrying around in your heart. In prayer ask him to remove the worry you are carrying around in your heart. Ask him to carry your fears, ask him to lift the weight of anxiety and relational stress. Telling God about the weight is one thing, actually handing it over to him is another. I knew my daughter was struggling to carry her hockey bag but she wanted to impress her friends and her mother and prove she could do it all by herself. The truth is that Sara had nothing to prove to me. I love her whether or not she could carry her bag. I love her because she is my daughter and I am her father and I want to help her, I find joy in helping her. God finds joy in helping you as well. He is near you right now, so humble yourself and ask him to help you carry the weight. God has mighty hands and they are available to help you unload at any given time.
The third step is to trust God. Believe that God is strong enough to handle even your heaviest weight. Peter tells us that God will lift you up in due time. Sara had to set her bag down and let go of the straps for me to pick it up. She had to trust that I would pick the bag up and carry it for her to where she needed to be. In reality she had no idea which locker room to go to, but I did. I knew she was in locker room two and I even knew where it was since I had been there many times before. Sara had to trust that I was willing and able to carry her bag and she had to believe that I knew where I was going. In the same way, you need to trust God to carry your weight and believe that he will lead you to where you need to be. Once we arrived at the locker room I set Sara’s bag back down for her so she could put on her equipment. God will not set the weight back on your heart because you don’t need it anymore. Let him remove it for good by continuing to trust him every step of every day.
Jesus says: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matthew 6:31-34.
Every time you feel like you are carrying extra weight, repeat the three steps. Humble yourself, hand off the weight, and trust God to carry it for you. Life is better when you carry less weight.