Dealing With the Weight of the World
How to lay your burdens down at the foot of the cross.
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.
By Samantha Seal
Hello! We haven’t met yet, but I think we have something in common. You and I both have the tendency to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. But here’s a secret: we don’t have to! God has already overcome the world and all its heavy chains. (John 16:33)
I bet we have another thing in common — we both have a hard time laying down our burdens. About three years ago, I was determined to carry my burdens — medical issues, problems with friends, struggles in school — on my own, and that sent me down a spiral of anxiety and depression. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did.
You see, the immense weight of the world can lead to endless worry and hopelessness, but God does not want His precious children to live a life full of fear and sadness. Through His strength, God helped me overcome anxiety and depression, and He can help you too. In Matthew 11, Jesus gives us three steps to find true rest in Him: come, take, learn.
Are you tired? Burnt out? Come to God
God beckons those who are “weary and carry heavy burdens” to come to Him (Matthew 11:28). If you have a personal relationship with God, He is walking this journey of life with you and He wants to carry your burdens. 1 Peter 5:7 says to “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” God loves you too much to allow you to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. God is waiting for you with open arms, and you have to take that first step. I know it’s scary to ask for help — I’ve been there. Satan will lie and say you can do it on your own, but our human nature makes us weak. We were not created by God to carry life’s burdens and overcome anxiety and depression by ourselves. We have to rely on God because His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Take God’s Yoke
What is a yoke? Great question! In Biblical times, a heavy, wooden beam called a yoke was placed on animals to allow them to pull a plow or a cart. The heavy yoke that humans bear translates to any type of burdens we carry: a broken marriage, sickness, joblessness, sin, guilt. As a result, sometimes we end up plowing in the field of anxiety and depression. Once we come to God, He asks us to take his yoke, which is easy and light. (Matthew 11:29-30) With God’s yoke, He gives us His strength. We need God’s strength to overcome the weight of the world and experience true rest while plowing the field. Taking something from God, though, requires giving something to Him — our own heavy yoke and burdens. Laying down our burdens at the foot of the cross is a daily process. I had the bad habit of giving my burdens to God and then taking them up again or even picking up new ones the moment something went wrong, but that is not how it works. Taking God’s yoke is an exchange, not a substitution. It defeats the purpose to carry our yoke and God’s yoke. The problems of this world are outside your control, so lay all your burdens down and leave them at God’s feet, take up His yoke, and plow forward in freedom!
Learn from God
The last step is to learn from God — learn how to be fully dependent on Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.” It’s easy to be anxious about the future or depressed about your circumstances, especially with the current problems the world is facing, but God promises when you trust Him, He will direct your paths. The key word here is “all.” When you give God all your burdens and trust Him with all your heart, the darkness surrounding your anxiety and depression begins to fade in the bright light of Jesus Christ. Sometimes, though, we need extra help during the learning process after we lay our burdens down because the weight of the previous yoke was so crippling, and that is okay! I used anxiety medication and went to Christian counseling during the learning process, but I would have never been able to find true rest if I didn’t first complete steps one and two — come and take God’s yoke.
So if you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, come to God, take His yoke, learn from Him, and He will give you rest.
Pray this week:
God, I am tired. I am done carrying life’s burdens on my shoulders. I give all my burdens to you, today. I am choosing to exchange my heavy yoke for Your light one, and I ask that you please give me rest. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Do you have burdens that are weighing you down? Do you desire true rest in Christ? Run into the arms of God, today, He’s waiting for you!