One weekend, our family attended a church camp. During one of the morning sessions the speaker handed out a sheet of paper to everyone on which we were to write down our burdens. In the last session of the day, we were to take these sheets of paper and put them into a bowl. These sheets were later burned in a fire, symbolic of releasing our burdens to Jesus. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus urges us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I wrote down my burdens, folded the paper and put it in my notebook, which I then left on a table. At the end of the last session, people started placing their papers into the bowl. My notebook was not where I had left it and I frantically searched for ‘my burdens’.
“What are you looking for?” a friend whispered.
“I’ll help you look”, she offered.
We scrambled around looking for my lost burdens. All of a sudden, we started to giggle uncontrollably. Our laughter was magnified because everyone around us was so solemn and quiet. Here we were, desperately trying to find my lost burdens so I could take them up again only to lay them down again before God. As our laughter continued, it struck me how gracious our God is. As I had written my burdens, He had, in that very moment, taken them and they were effectively lost forever.
Also, the laying down of our burdens need not always be serious and solemn. It can also be joyous and freeing. Galatians 5:1 explains: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again.”
It also saddened me to realise how often we, as God’s children needlessly scramble around looking for the burdens God is already carrying for us. As I lay in bed that night, reflecting on the day, I felt the laughter rise up again inside of me and Nehemiah 8:10 took on a whole new meaning: “For the joy of the lord is your strength”. Additionally, Proverbs 17:22 says, “A happy heart is like good medicine”.
(From God’s Promise for Families by Noelene Curry)