Is Your Burden Too Heavy?

by Todd Shupe

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)

Many of us carry heavy burdens due to a wide variety of physical, mental, and spiritual reasons.  The burden can cause us to ache at the deepest level, our soul.   At this point two conclusions can be drawn: (1) the burden is not from God and (2) the only way to lighten the load is to draw close to Jesus.

So how do we know the burden is not from God?  God is our Father and wants peace for His children.  He certainly does not want to put a burden on us that is more than we can handle.  Jesus knows that we will have problems.  Jesus acknowledges that we will have problems and burdens, but He is offering us protection and provision as the Good Shepard.  The Word teaches in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble.” He wants us to cast our anxiety on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). 

A heavy burden is a result of our tendency to bear the burdens of life on our own.  If we try to carry all the weights and cares and burdens, we will end up being crushed.  We are all part of the Body of Christ and as such we are all to follow the Word in Galatians 6:2. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Jesus’ solution for profound soul-weariness isn’t complicated. He simply says, “Come to me, all who are weary.”  He extends the invitation, but our response is essential.  The Christian life is one of total dependence on God. When Jesus says, “Come to me, all who are weary,” (Matthew 11:28) it’s because He doesn’t want us buying into the lie of independence. He doesn’t want us thinking that we can get by on our own, relying on our own grit.  Each of us plays an important role in the Body of Christ.  Feeling overwhelmed and weary is a sign that we are living outside of God’s will.  The solution to weariness isn’t to be better organized, more efficient, or more productive. The solution is to reject the lie of self-sufficiency and embrace Him – the one who gives living water.  

This doesn’t mean that Jesus will necessarily change the circumstances and make everything okay. In fact, He probably won’t. It does mean that He will provide me with all-sufficient grace to bear good fruit, even in the midst of exhausting, wearying circumstances.  We must learn to stop trying to put our fingers on everything, and instead reach out with confidence to touch His cloak.  When we reach out with even the faith of a mustard seed, He may heal us or He may not, but He will certainly bless us. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).

Prayer:  Dear good and gracious God:  You continue to bless us with grace upon grace.  Continue to draw us near to you so that we walk with confidence that you are with us always.  We love you, need you, and trust in you.  Amen.

About the Author:  

Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and wood science.  Shupe worked as a  professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the Secretary of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, Database Coordinator for Gulf South Men, and volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, Iron Sharpens Iron, Open Air Ministries, HOPE Ministries food pantry. Todd is currently preparing to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men.