Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. ~Psalm 55:22
My sister Emily and I were on a walk the other day, and we got to talking about the things God was showing us. Emily had quite the profound revelation from the Lord...In fact, it made such an profound impact on me, that I knew I had to share it with all of you!
During her devotional time, God showed my sister Emily that we often times experience unnecessary anxiety and burdens that we were never meant to carry. He showed her that this occurs when we bring something to God through prayer, but we ultimately end up ‘taking it back’.
When we give something to God, it feels wonderful because we are essentially giving the burden, worries, and cares of that thing over to Him. We are doing what Philippians 4:6 instructs us to do which is to, “Not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” And when we do this, (present our requests to Him), we feel an overwhelming peace knowing that it is in His hands, which is what the next verse explains will happen…”And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The problem lies however, when we ‘take back’ that thing that we gave to Him in the first place. Whether it be taking back control of something we surrendered to Him, trying to take care of ourselves in an area, try to figure out our own way, when we initially asked for His direction…All of these things will cause us to take back the very thing that we gave to God.
God revealed this scenario to my sister using the following illustration…
Emily was planning her friends baby shower at the time, and she was in charge over all of the planning and delegating. She had so much on her plate with planning the shower, and working full time as a school teacher, that she suddenly found herself getting somewhat overwhelmed as the shower date drew closer. However, when she started delegating tasks to people that she knew and trusted, she suddenly felt a huge weight taken off, and that the tasks she was responsible for were manageable.
God showed her that this action of ‘delegating tasks to others’ was similar to giving things over to Him. When she gave things to Him that He promised to take care of (financial provision, protection, direction, just to name a few), then she could do her ‘part’ with ease and confidence knowing that He was taking care of His part. When she asked Him for something, or gave something over to Him, she was essentially trusting Him with that area of her life, and she didn’t need to worry about if it would ‘get done’ or not. She simply had to trust that it was taken care of, and not give it a second thought.
Then God spoke to her and said, ‘Now what if you had taken back some of those tasks that you had previously delegated to people…how would it have made you feel?’ Emily replied, ‘Burdened and overwhelmed’. God replied, ‘You see, in life, whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or burdened by something, that is essentially what is happening! Every time you give something to me, and then take it back, you are taking on more than you can handle, because you were never meant to do everything alone! You do your part, and give me what I already promised that I would take care of, and you will be able to manage you part with ease knowing that I am taking care of the rest!’
Through this revelation, God showed my sister that every time we start to feel burdened, anxious, or overwhelmed by something in our lives, it is essentially because we haven’t ‘given’ it over to Him in the first place, or if we have, we have tried to take it back into our control. This action will always lead us to feelings of heaviness, because He never designed us to take on what He has promised to care for.
Often times, I think that we do this without even realizing it, (I know I sure do)…But the good news is, there is a simple way to overcome this!
The first and most important step in giving something to God and leaving it there, is to trust Him to take care of what He has promised to take care of. This trust can be developed in many different ways…But I have found there a few key ways that really stand out through the illustration God gave my sister.
The people that my sister delegated ‘tasks’ to for the baby shower were people that she knew, loved, and therefore trusted. She knew that they were capable of the task, and that when they said they would take care of it, that it would get done. She never had to worry or have a second thought about if they would actually do what they promised, because she trusted their word.
We can get to that same place with God by understanding how much He cares for us, and loves us. If you don’t feel like you have ever had a true revelation of His great love for you, that is certainly the first step in trusting Him. All you have to do is simply ask the Lord to reveal His great love for you…I can promise that He wants to show you even more than you want Him to!
Also, you have to know His promises to you. Take the area of finances for example, if you don’t know that He promised to provide all of your needs (Philippians 4:19) then you will never know that that is something He told you that He would do, so you won’t really know if you can hand that over to Him, and trust Him with it. Knowing His promises will help us to have a tremendous amount of peace, knowing that He promised to take care of us!
Of course, this goes without saying that there are times that there is still a part for us to play….and again, knowing the Word of God will help clarify if there is something for us to do. Take again the area of finances, as we give our finances over to Him, (by prayer and making our requests known to Him), we can rest assured that He is our provider, and will provide all of our needs. We then do our part by obeying the Word in this area, and doing what we can do, which is ‘putting our hand to something, so He can bless it’, and ‘tithing and giving’ (Numbers 18:26, Luke 6:38).
If you have found yourself burdened down, anxious, or worried about any area of your life, I believe this message is for you. God wants you to know that you were never meant to handle everything on your own, which is why you feel weighed down with the cares of this life.
If you haven’t already, pray about that thing that you are worrying about, and release it in to God, knowing that He has promised to take care of you. Ask Him to show you if there is anything you can do, and leave the rest to Him.
If you have already prayed about and given any area of your life to the Lord, but you find yourself still worrying about it, then it is most likely because you have tried to take on the care of that thing by trying to deal with it on your own. Recognize that He has promised to take care of you, guide you, and provide for you, and release it once and for all over to Him.
If you find yourself worrying about that thing again, stop right in your tracks and say, ‘No, I refuse to worry about this thing anymore, because God is taking care of it!’ He promises that if we do this, that His peace that passes all understanding will flood our mind as we put our trust in Him! (Philippians 4:7).