Sometimes our burdens—or worries—get out of control.

Today I chatted with a dear friend I don’t see very often, and as we shared events and concerns in our lives, she told me about her “burden basket.”

Since the beginning of this year, she said, life had begun to overwhelm her. She worried about many things: learning to use some new technology for work, her bills, decisions her boss needed to make, her brother’s finances, an overseas trip she would like to make, her boss’s wife, her own health, her elderly mother, needing to shop for new clothes but not wanting to, updating her will, and the list grew and grew. My friend realized that she had become concerned about so many things that her worries began to multiply, as described in Psalm 94:19: “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul” (NASB).

Looking for a way to break the cycle, she remembered Psalm 55:22, “Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you” (NLT).

She decided to write each of her concerns on a separate slip of paper and put the papers in a basket on her table. She kept writing until she had listed every issue that she had been fretting over. When she ran out of things to list, she figuratively and literally lifted her “burden basket” to God and let Him take care of them.

She told me the process gave her a feeling of release and relief, knowing that the Lord is faithful.

The burden basket continues to be a tangible reminder to her of God’s faithfulness and His willingness to take her burdens. “I know that once I’ve given it to Him, I don’t have to worry or think about that problem again,” she said.

I like the idea of using a “burden basket” to give my problems to the Lord. How about you?

Photo by Kittikun Atsawintarangkul/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
 
Whom have I in heaven but thee?  And besides thee, I desire nothing on earth.   Psalm 73:25

By Vera Warren Carroll

Many Christians are found, very innocently, keeping our eyes focused on the wrong thing as we live this life of faith.  We focus our attention on what we want in life and our loved ones, spending hour upon hour thinking how we might purchase some expensive item that we have to have or how we can redecorate our house.  It’s the bride-to-be who daydreams about her wedding day or the husband-to-be caught up in thoughts of his dream car.  We fill our minds with idle, often complicated, thoughts that quickly turn to worry the minute we see these dreams not coming to reality.  They become problems that preoccupy our existence, complicating our lives and becoming our primary focus. 

The Word of God is very clear about worry.  (See Matthew 6:25-34) “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  This scripture leads us away from the daily ritual of worry.

The Word also says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV).  Without a doubt this establishes that God doesn’t want us to worry and take our focus off Him.  Doing it God’s way means having more time to focus on Him.  Focusing on Him will move us to grow closer to Him.  

If growing closer to God truly is a desire of your heart and not just words lightly said, then spend more time thinking about Him.  Replace each thought of this world with thoughts that glorify your Father.  Focusing on Him means meditating on Him and His Word.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew  6:33

Whatever you spend hours worrying about--the house, the husband, the wife, the wedding, the car, the bills and the children--just trust God to work it out. Keep your thoughts stayed on Him, seek Him, and you may find those things you worried about weren’t that important anyway.  God will change your desires and you will find that nothing on this earth is worth occupying your every moment.  You will learn that God and His desires are most important and besides Him, nothing is worth the attention and time we give it.

Then you can say as David said, “I desire nothing on earth.”  Focus on God!
©Vera Warren Carroll