What Do We Do With Accumulated Burdens ?

This morning I came across an old fortune from a fortune cookie that I had kept in my wallet “sometimes traveling to a new place leads to a great transformation”.

I’m sitting in the lobby of a busy hotel in New Orleans it’s a beautiful day sunny and in the 70s I see folks checking in and out; some for a night or two like us, some look like they’ve come prepared for a stay of a month or so.

Thinking about the quote, it came to me that it’s not just physical traveling and a great transformation. When I travel, I do a lot of people watching and notice many things about them. Their dress, preparation for travel, the size of their bags, how many bags there are. Some look as if they are carrying their home with them – the amount of luggage they bear is so great. Some look as if they are just stopping in for a coffee. They have a toothbrush in their pocket and that’s all. What a picture this is of the inside of us as well. Some of us are overburdened, struggling to balance and we drag our baggage behind us; the look on our faces as low as the wheels on the bags. Some are walking with a spring in their step, a smile on their face and greet the day with joy.


Right now I’m somewhere in between. I’ve traveled to many new places in my life both physically and emotionally. I’ve learned to travel lighter and I need to travel lighter still. As I’ve aged I’ve learned that I am able to carry less and less. So I’ve learned to be an economical packer. In life, I’ve traveled many emotional places, too; I’ve stopped at: the place of a forgotten daughter, the possession of a grandmother, the freedom of marriage, the comfort of a friend, the peace and quiet joy of motherhood, the sorrow of watching a child who has struggled to find his place in the world, the lost world of widowhood of my mother and mother-in-law, the grief over a friend who died, the grief over a friend’s child whose choice has landed him where he did not want to be, the grief shared with a friend who lost her son in a car accident, the grief shared when a spouse of a  friend has died or has developed dementia, the joy of becoming a grandparent for the first time and for the last time. The sorrow of saying the slow goodbye to family succumbing to illness.

Great jobs, Not so great jobs. Great fellowships, poor ones. Good friends, not so good friends. Beautiful weddings and horrible divisiveness at the altar.

We have all had our share of journeying to new places. Those we’ve jumped for joy over and those over which we were devastated and those that brought us the unexpected.

When the burdens outweigh the joys, we find ourselves in a state of continual grief and the burdens feel heavier and heavier.
Or, there may be one particular burden we can’t just seem to let go of; we keep an iron grip on it or we just keep looking at it, giving it a reassuring pat before we go on with our day.

As believers, Jesus gave us specific instructions on what to do with these burdens.

Lay them down, give them over and pick up the burden of a believer. It is so much lighter and easier to bear.

The strings of these old burdens cut away make us feel like we are walking on air. His burden is indeed light. We are reborn, new life surges through our souls and His comfort is beyond anything we could ever imagine. The weight has fallen away. A great transformation has taken place.

Behold all things are become new. We have left the old behind. We are new.

Lay down your burdens, take up his and He will give you rest.

Please, don’t think I have this down yet and please, don’t interpret this to mean every day will be all sunshine and roses. The ‘rest’is a process of maturing in faith and trust in the One who has offered to carry our burdens if we let Him.

I still seem to find those things in the past that I look at longingly and give a reassuring pat as I walk by on my way out the door. But, more often now, I stop, pick something up and take it to him. Great transformation happens when we trust Him with the burdens. Letting go is hard. For us all…

Pack those emotional bags lightly. And give them to Jesus as quickly as you can.

He loves you and He has not forgotten you.


“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burdens.”- Psalm 68:19

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ” –2 Corinthians 5:17

“‘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

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