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Burdens and Blessings

May 19, 2020

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. Psalm 55:22 NLT

When I was a young mother, one of my favorite books to read to my children was full of “monkey tales” from a missionary in Africa. One of the best stories, all written from the perspective of the animals, was about a monkey and a hippopotamus who were friends. One day the monkey was carrying a very heavy load of resources he had gathered in his ramblings. He loudly complained about the weight on his back and how his feet hurt. Hippo saw Monkey and offered to give him a ride on his back, taking him clear across the river. Monkey accepted but continued his moans and groans as Hippo headed for the river. “What’s wrong?”, he asked. “I’m trying to help you!”

Monkey said, “My feet feel better, but my burden still hurts my back!” Turns out, he had climbed up onto the broad, capable back of the hippo, but retained the big sack of things he had picked up on his own back. The pain only stopped when he let Hippo carry him AND let go of his burden.

That is a picture of what prayer is supposed to be. Prayer is intended to be a place where we transfer our burdens to the Lord. We tend to over-function, to try to handle things that are simply too big for our pay grade. Of course, we have responsibilities that are ours, but there are burdens that are far too heavy for us, burdens that God wants to carry for us. God wants to deepen our relationship with Him through prayer as we release pressure by telling Him what’s troubling us, untying the burden from our hearts, and putting it on Him. As He carries us, there is no need for us to keep bearing the burden, feeling the pressure. We let Him carry us.

God’s back is broad. He invites us to let Him carry us and our burdens. He assures us that He will care for us and all that concerns us. His feet are sure and certain. If He is carrying us, we can be certain we will not slip or fall.

Jesus Himself gives a tender invitation: Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 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.” Matthew 11:28-29

  • Accept Jesus’s invitation to “let it go.” Give Him that thing that is bothering you. It will try to creep back on your back during the day, but keep returning it to Jesus. He will carry you and your burden.