Lay Down (the Burdens of Your Heart)

"Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matthew 11:29-30 (NLT)

The chorus of a well-loved song of mine written by Amy Grant has come back to me continually this week. I have started singing the words several times without a conscious thought until I hear the familiar lines my mouth is singing.

Lay down the burden of your heart.
I know you'll never miss it.
Show your Daddy where it hurts,
And let your Daddy lift it.

--Amy Grant from her album, Father's Eyes

I have spent more than a week carrying a burden that I have realized I have put on myself. I have felt smothered, afraid, confused, and worn out by the heavy weight I have dragged everywhere with me. I was crying in my journal the other night, pouring out my complaint about how weary I was, when I suddenly felt as though the Lord was saying,

"Shawn, that yoke around your neck is not my doing. Baby girl, you are carrying something much too heavy for you. I never intended for you to make that your burden. That is why you are so tired. Why don't you let Me take it from here?"

What are you and I dragging around that was never meant to be our burden? Here are some of the impossibly heavy things that I have been carrying around with me:

*Others' expectations of me
*The need to strive to be perfect (perfect wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend) and the inevitable realization that I so am not!
*Trying to control what I cannot, never have been, and never will be able to control
*Trying to be good enough
*Fighting with the same old insecurities and feeling like a failure

What is your burden today? I know that the Bible tells me that I was never supposed to be all to everyone. Why is that so hard for me to grasp sometimes? Our heavenly Father gives us permission to lay down that all-consuming chokehold that robs us of our joy and give it all to Him. We are meant to need Him desperately. I want to loosen these fingers from this ball and chain I have been dragging around me and be free from this burden that He never meant me to carry-don't you?

Jesus, thank You for the way Your Word helps me to differentiate between whose burden it is that I am carrying. The burden You ask me to carry helps me to find rest, peace, and comfort. You are never the source of weariness, confusion, or distress. That so often is what I add to the mix. Teach me what I can and cannot change or do. Let me lay down this burden and find the rest You promise me.