It is spring, so I enrolled my kids in swim lessons. Since I have three kids, I played with two of them in the pool while the third was in a lesson. Each lesson was half an hour long, and I enjoyed the dynamics of having just two kids to interact with. While my middle child who is five was having his lesson, I had my three-year-old little girl clinging to me and my seven-year-old son splashing around me.
My seven-year-old loves to analyze, think, relate and communicate. He’s like his mommy, except he would rather talk and I’d rather write. Apparently he was enjoying my full attention because he spontaneously gave me a hug and said, “I love you, Mommy.” He then wrapped his arms around me, and I held him gently with my free arm.
As I stood in the pool with my little girl in one arm and my oldest boy in the other, my analytical son said, “Wow, Mommy! The water helps you to carry both of us!”
I instantly thought of the parallel of Jesus being our Living Water (John 4.10). Water has many amazing uses for the body, but I never thought of it as a way to lighten our load. Jesus tells us that if we connect ourselves to Him, our burdens would be easy to bear.
I used to struggle with this promise because my load always seemed so heavy. I would get frustrated because I knew I was missing out on a promise that was rightfully mine as a coheir with Christ and part of God’s family. However, through years of doing life the wrong way, I’ve learned that when I keep my eyes centered on Christ, my load truly is easier.
Although there are short, difficult seasons in my life that strengthen my faith and resolve, I’ve found that for the most part each day feels like I’m being carried by the flow and ebb of Living Water. I’ve noticed that I have just enough time to do everything that God has called me to each day, especially spending time with Him.
I know that each person and journey is different; but as a woman, the main thing that burdened me was the opinions of others. I didn’t realize how wide and deep my decisions, actions and emotions were affected by what I perceived other people thought. My load greatly lightened when I started to shed the clinging hands that I allowed to share my yoke with Christ.
I discovered the best way to lighten my load is to examine each of my thoughts, decisions and actions and see if it is yoked to Jesus or someone else. If I have unknowingly lassoed someone else’s opinion into my actions, I quickly ask for forgiveness and release the burden. I have to be aggressive about not allowing others to replace God’s authority and prominence in my life, because only He offers me buoyancy to carry on with ease.
Questions: Have you unknowingly allowed other people to compete with God’s opinion of you? How does carrying the weight of other people’s feelings add unhealthy worry and busyness to your life? How will focusing on God’s will for your life ease your burdens?
“For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11.30 NLT).