Cast, Don't Carry
by Marcy Lytle
We carry, bring in, and lay our groceries down on a counter because they’re so heavy, and we begin to unpack them one by one, placing each item where it belongs until our counter are clear and free.
We hand over our luggage to the airlines to carry for us, while we fly. We trust and hope that the baggage will arrive, where we will then pick it up and carry it again, until we arrive at our hotel where we lay it down and unpack it and enjoy our vacation.
We carry children that are tired, too small to walk, or need our assistance, and our backs grow sore and weary…so we set the children down. We place them in the crib or ask them to now walk, so we can have a rest…
We tote huge tents and backpacks when we go camping or hiking, and we carry them as we climb and walk, only to gladly lay them down at camp arrival. We then set them up to rest in, sleep in, and live in…until it’s time to pack up and carry them out again.
We even carry huge shopping bags and purses as we hit the stores for things we need, gifts for others, and they’re heavy, they hurt our backs, and we can’t wait to lay them down. We unload them all and throw away the bags, sighing with relief as we put everything away.
And yet…we carry burdens on our shoulders day and night that we’re not meant to carry. We lug around guilt and shame, we lift heavy weights of worry and fear and they make us weary, and we shuffle around with concerns we acquire daily until we can barely walk from the weight of it all.
I write this, because I do this!
He says to come to Him, if we’re heavy burdened, and he will give us rest. He says to cast our cares on him because he cares for us. And he says we will not be in want, because He’s our shepherd.
And yet I’d say this is one of the hardest parts of walking life with Him…not carrying all of these things like bags on our backs, luggage in our hands, and weights on our shoulders. We lay them down in prayer at night, but we pick them up with the next morning’s light.
Moms are especially prone to carrying burdens, and somehow it’s become a part of who we are…moms that worry. But I’m constantly praying and daily laying down my own personal pride…yes that’s what I call my own issue…in order to walk in peace. What about you?
For me, it’s just pride that I know what’s best and it’s possible that He will lead me somewhere awful and leave me, and that if I just think about things long enough, I might be able to come up with a solution OTHER THAN laying it all down and resting.
Ouch. That’s the reality of carrying burdens we aren’t meant to carry, and I’m the first one to raise my hand up high and say, “This is me!” I do this!
Maybe your reason for carrying instead of casting is that you’ve been hurt by others, disappointed in God, or you’ve had to pull up your bootstraps and carry on, one too many times. You’re done with depending on anyone else, especially Him. We all have reasons we walk around with bags, when there is a place where we can deposit them for safekeeping.
Just this morning, my mind started swirling way too early about the what-ifs, and before I could even get up for the day, my backpack was full and heavy and already on my shoulders before I took a step to the kitchen.
If we can learn anything from all of our carrying scenarios mentioned above, it’s that we are in a constant life mode of packing and unpacking. There’s never going to be a time when we aren’t packing something, whether it’s a diaper bag, a book bag, or a piece of luggage for a wonderful trip. And there will always be the unloading of each of those said bags, because life is a series of loading and unloading.
Once we accept that fact, maybe it will be a little easier (and we will be a little easier on ourselves) to recognize the daily load, lay it open and poured out at his feet, smile and take His hand…and do it all over again tomorrow. And hopefully, over the years of walking and talking and laying and giving our burdens to Him, we will eventually pick up less and less each day because we will see the futility in the process and the freedom in the relationship with a God who said he’d carry it all, so that we don’t have to.
I’m still in that daily movement of loading and unloading. Where are you? My first chore of the day is to load the washer with all the clothes we used over the weekend, so they can be washed, folded away and worn again…then washed again…rinse and repeat. I’m thankful for a place to lay them as they’re soiled, and even more grateful for a huge tub where they can be washed…and entirely thankfully grateful that they come out clean every time.
Lay your burdens down, unpack your luggage, empty out that backpack, and spill out your produce…it’s all too heavy for anyone to carry today. And when you do pick up that next heavy bag, remember there’s a time and place to hand it over, set it down, and let it go…and walk free. And there’s only one set of hands that are capable, strong enough and willing. And they’re His.
And guess what? He’s promised to carry us, as well. Now, that’s a beautiful picture.