Ever had to run while wearing a heavy rucksack? When we carry anything heavy it makes running really challenging. It slows us down and can cause us to stumble. It’s the same in our lives. When we carry heavy burdens around with us, we’re weighed down and can stumble in our Christian journey. But the Bible says: ‘Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.’ So how can we throw off our burdens? Firstly, we need to acknowledge the things that are weighing us down. Sometimes it’s easy to identify our burdens. Maybe it’s a family issue, stress at work or university, a sin which we can’t break free from, or a hurt from the past. Other times we can feel weighed down without realising why. God can show us the things we need to work through. The psalmist prayed: ‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me’ (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV). And we can pray the same too. Secondly, we need to work through our burdens. Not everything we’re carrying can easily be thrown off. Some things need to be dug out of our lives and processed before we can let them go. God’s gentle with us, and will help us work through our problems step by step. Finally, we need to get into the habit of handing all our problems over to God. The Bible says: ‘Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you’ (Psalm 55:22 NIV). Every time we discover something that’s weighing us down, we need to give it to God and keep running.
Walk around your house and do your daily tasks while carrying a heavy bag, and tell God about any burdens in your life right now. After a few minutes, put the bag down and carry on. As you’re going around without the weight, ask God to help you throw off everything that’s weighing you down in life.
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