“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” C. Joybell C.
I read this quote recently, I admit: rather than the authors voice or perspective, I heard the heart of Jesus.
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 NIV)
There are things in all of our lives we just carry. We don’t even know why sometimes. It’s just our baggage.
And it’s heavy. Pain is heavy. Unforgiveness is heavy. Bitterness, contempt, complacency, unbelief, pride, depression… all of it. It’s all HEAVY.
Each of them making for shackles, balls and chains, and they. are. heavy.
And that heaviness is not what Jesus meant when He said He wanted us to live abundant lives. Some of these things, maybe the fact that they’re bringing about death doesn’t occur to us; or maybe we’re so attached to our feeling(s), our baggage, that we don’t feel ready to let it go.
Maybe just waking up to the fact that it’s so damn heavy to walk through life with will be the lightbulb moment we need to bring us to set it down.
Maybe we can’t bring ourselves to actively forgive yet, for example. But to set down our unforgiveness at the feet of Jesus, simply because it’s heavy and we need rest, doesn’t mean we need to forgive in our own power before doing so.
Set it down because it’s heavy just means we’re tired of carrying it. Setting it down at the feet of Jesus means we’re tired of carrying it and we’re coming to Him, exhausted and worn down, for a trade.
He takes that heavy baggage. He gives rest.
Or rather, He’ll sit with you next to/in your heavy baggage. Unafraid and undeterred by your junk, and He will show you His own way, a lighter, freer, liberated way.
I love the way the Message translates this scripture:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
In that unforgiveness, laid before Jesus, learning the unforced rhythms of grace, without the added weight of expectation, we can come to find freedom and lightness in our hearts and souls.
And out of that well of His grace might then spring forth the forgiveness we’ve been withholding.
Regardless; whatever it is that you’re carrying: if it’s heavy, if it’s burdensome, come to the feet of Jesus and set it down. Sit this Him a while and learn from a grace that comes as naturally as breathing, and let that bring you rest, my friend.