The Scottish theologian John Baillie wanted to help people recognize that a personal relationship with God was possible. HIs book, called A Diary of Private Prayer is a classic 31-day devotional that gives readers a greater understanding of what that means. Looking at the issue of burdens we carry, Baillie wrote: Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others. Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon Thee, O Lord.

Since burdens are generally the stuff that life is made of, it is helpful to all of us to learn how to best manage them. Most of us are prone to keeping our burdens private, which means we often carry a heavy load. We carry those burdens for ourselves, and for people we love, and even for the world as it is. We carry them because we don’t really know how to set them down, or where to put them that can make any difference at all. 

If we take a page out of Baillie’s notebook, we might find that there’s more we can do than simply shrugging our shoulders and hoping to be able to bear the weight of those things that concern us. The truth is God knows you can’t carry those burdens all on your own and He never intended that you should. Here’s where that personal relationship with Him comes in. If we believe that He not only will, but truly wants to share in our burdens, then we immediately have a place to take them. We are not left alone to simply stress over those issues that are too big for us to handle. We don’t have to imagine that somehow, we will miraculously come up with all the right answers, whether for ourselves or others. In fact, we can lay those burdens down at the feet of the One who offers to walk with us and carry the heaviest part of our load. So, how do we do that?

There’s a secret to our success. We have to remember this. Once you cast your burdens on the Lord, place them squarely in His hands, then you have to leave them there. Yup! You don’t get to take them back the next day and start to worry all over again. If you struggle with that idea, think of all those times that you have personally helped someone else. You helped them because you cared for them. You wanted better things for them. You knew you could help them move on and feel better about life. If you can remember how good you felt about helping them, then remember that God feels that way about you. He wants to help you. Just get out of the way and let Him act. Your heart knows that He will keep His promises and bear your burdens joyfully.

May God give you a great big believing heart today!