Recently I was having coffee with a friend and we started talking about problems. We all have 'problems' and they are all different. I don't like to call them problems, but rather challenges. It might be issues relating to the past, challenges relating to current circumstances or a fear about the future, but the one thing that challenges do have in common is that they can cause anxiousness, fear or stress. Often we cannot do anything about the challenges we face. We cannot force a family member to forgive us, we cannot mend a broken friendship from one side or change the mood of a depressed friend or maybe you are trusting for finances, a new job or a new home. Often we find ourselves at the place where our hands are tied, we have done all we could do and there are no more options left.
While I was chatting to my friend I received this awesome picture in my mind. There is a shelf called God and we can pack all our challenges on it, like a row of encyclopaedia from A to Z. I imagined those old heavy books. Then the devil comes and he makes us worry about an issue which is out of our control or he makes us feel guilty about something that we cannot change. "Why aren't you thinking about that? Don't you care about your future? Who will do it if you don't carry the load? How is God going to do His part if you do not put in your time and thoughts? Should you not be pulling your weight? You deserve to get justice, why don't you approach that person?" There are millions of questions that he can throw at us to make us feel guilty and to convince us that we have to carry the books ourselves. We then remove the books from the shelf, tie them around our waist and drag them around wherever we go. We complain to people about them, we dwell on them and we reread the pages of each book over and over in our minds until we are so drained that we don't have energy left for anything else and that is exactly where the devil wants you, tired, discouraged, fearful and drained. The devil knows that when we are in that space, we are of no threat to him, because we have no energy left and our focus is on the problems and not on God.
The Bible says: "Come to Me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus says, come, bring your books to me, put them on my shelf, I know you cannot carry them. Take instead my yoke which is light and filled with peace, love, joy and freedom and let me carry your burdens.
Each book on the shelf has a time to be opened and a time to be read. God will show you when it is time to read each book and when you have the strength to do so. He will address the issue and instruct you to take the book and act at the right time. Until then, leave your challenges on His shelf and continue living in joy without dragging every burden behind you. Jesus came to remove our problems so that we can have the abundant life.
It does not mean that we don't take responsibility, it does not mean that we won't face challenging times, it only means that there is a time for everything and that when something is not in our control, it needs to be put in God's hands and not dragged behind us. In this way God can help us deal with each challenge at its time and we can be victorious in everything we do. Pack your problems on God’s shelf today and live free from anxiety and fear.
“The thief (devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10Photo credit: favim