July 2023


Cares. Burdens. Anxieties. How often Scripture implores us to lay them down at His feet. He says we are not to fear, to be anxious for nothing, to give Him all our cares, because He cares and because He is victorious. (1 Peter 5:7; Luke 12:22-32) And, as a faithful believer, I try to do just that: give them to Him and acknowledge His Lordship in my heart. I am, however, also prone to pick them up again.

My trust wavers, and I fail to remember that He is bigger than whatever I’m facing. Or, my pride intrudes, and I put my reputation above His. It may take me a while to realize I’ve picked one or more of my cares up again. Trying to manage intellectually or emotionally and losing my inner peace in the process. Then back I come to repent and put myself into His hands.

I wish I could say that I’ve mastered this fundamental characteristic of discipleship. I have not. It has become a necessary rhythm of my life to come regularly to the throne of grace and receive mercy. Like Paul, I find myself saying, “Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” (Romans 7:24b-25a ESV)

I come to Him because I need Him. Would that I could more often come to Him because I love Him and want to be near Him. It is simply a tension of this life that presses on me and presses me to Him. I do love Him. He has never failed me. He has always been with me. He is always at work…even when I don’t see it or feel it. He is kind and brilliant. He is also holy, and there is much about life on planet Earth that should not be allowed to besmirch His good name. I don’t understand it all, and that’s ok, because I believe Him. He is truth, and everything else must be subdued to Him.

Thank you, dear Reader, for traveling with me on this Calvary Road, as we learn of Him and become changed in His presence. I trust you also are learning to know when you are carrying more than you need to. I find that’s often harder than laying it down. I can get muscle memory and think that it’s perfectly normal to be carrying around baggage. Like the purse hanging on your arm while you are shopping for clothes, which you suddenly realize weighs a ton.

Let us practice laying things down, giving them up, leaving them with God, who knows perfectly well what to do with them. The rest of that passage in 1 Peter 5 helps us see why we need to be free of our anxieties: So that we can be focused. He says in verses 8-11, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (ESV)

Until next week, beloved, meet with Him often and come away unburdened.

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