Friday, April 27, 2012

Who's Bearing Your Burdens?

A few months ago I was on my way to meet a mentor for breakfast.  It was a rainy, dreary day which mimicked the way I felt.  I had just gotten all the boys off to school and was driving to meet her as I wrestled with my thoughts. 
She had been encouraging me during monthly breakfasts as my husband and I walked through a tough time financially.  Normally I looked forward to those breakfasts, but this day I didn't.  I knew she would ask me how things were and I just didn't want to go and report that we still hadn't seen much change in our situation; that we were still struggling.
I had been praying for things to change, but it was taking so long and it was so uncomfortable.

  I had grown weary.

My mind was filled with fear over the "what-if's" of the situation.  All the worst case scenarios were replaying over in my mind and as they filled my mind, they eventually came out of my mouth.  And for the last 2 weeks I had pain in my shoulders, down both my arms, and into both hands.  The pain was so severe at times that it made me nauseous.

At first I thought I may have slept in an odd position which caused the discomfort, but the pain grew worse over the next few days.  I considered calling the doctor, but I'm not really a doctor person.  Deep down I knew it wasn't something the doctor could heal anyway.  I knew it was stress and that my negative thoughts and words had opened me up to this pain.  I felt ashamed.  So, I really didn't want to go to the breakfast.

But I did.

I told her what was going on...
Things still the same.
No money.
Lots of stress.
Now lots of pain.

  She asked,
Maureen, are you taking on burdens that you weren't meant to bear?


Are you bearing a load that is not your responsibility?

I hadn't thought of it that way, but something clicked in me and I knew she was right.  So we left the restaurant and prayed together in her car.  I asked the Lord to forgive me for taking on a burden that wasn't mine.  To forgive me for my unbelief in His ability to provide for us.  By faith I took that burden off and gave it to Him.  And that was it.  But that was not all.  The pain in my body started to go.  It wasn't as severe.  A few hours later it was completely gone!  This was pain I had all day everyday for 2 weeks.  It kept me awake at night.  It had me constantly rubbing my hands thinking I could rub it away.  It had me nauseous.

  Now it was all gone!

So what happened?

Somewhere during the year of lack and stress I picked up the burden of provision for our family instead of giving it to the Lord.  I was praying and asking for God to help us, even quoting scripture here and there, but yet my mind was stuck in trying-to-figure-it-all-out mode.  My negative thoughts, which turned into words as I gave voice to them, negated my prayers and God's ability to work in my life.  My words stopped His answers from coming.

  I picture it like this...
I'd pray, quote scripture, and ask for His help.
He'd hear my words and start to answer.
Then I'd go through doubt and fear.
I'd voice that doubt and fear.
He'd hear my words and His answer halted at those words because they were in direct opposition to what I had originally prayed.

My prayers and scriptures were calling for blessing to come into my life, yet my words, spoken out of doubt and fear, called for cursing.

This became clear to me that day that I asked forgiveness for my fear words and my burden bearing.  Asking for His forgiveness opened me up to receive His blessing and I was healed.

The next day I woke up and those negative thoughts started to come back in and my hands began to ache slightly.  Those thoughts were just waiting for me to grab ahold and give them a voice like I had done before.  But, instead I reminded them that I gave that burden of provision to Jesus yesterday and that I give it to Him again today.  The burden isn't mine to bear and those thoughts have to go.  They went and so did the pain.
  I haven't had pain since. 

So, today, if you're plagued with stressful thoughts, and maybe even pain in your body, take some time to see if you're shouldering burdens you weren't meant to bear.  Ask God to forgive you for not trusting Him.  He's a merciful God who longs to see His children free and healed.  Then give that burden to Jesus.  It's His shoulders the burden was meant to rest upon.
Be at peace and be healed.  

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
    who daily bears our burdens.

Psalm 68:19

Is this your first visit to Freedom Friday?
We're embracing freedom each Friday here in 2012.
Click here for a list of the other posts in the series.


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