Week 38: burdens

“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” – Jesus in Matthew 11

There’s a difference between a path and a burden. A path leads you somewhere; a burden is just tiresome weight. While Jesus may promise a difficult journey at times, a path is not a heavy burden. A path is a process, while a burden slows us down, and may even paralyze us in place. 

Many (if not most) of us are carrying some heavy burden. Jesus is not the one giving this to us. If we are wearily carrying something (whether emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual), it is not placed upon us by Jesus. If it is a heavy burden, it may be placed upon us by ourselves, our circumstances (past or present), our anxiety, our church or community or friends, our family, our religion or spirituality, or another god. 

Jesus is an oasis, not a desert. And while he may lead us through many deserts, he is only ever an oasis in the midst of them, not the desert itself.

Jesus takes our heavy burdens (or, in the very least, helps us carry them); he does not place them upon us. 

I give you these burdens. They don’t come from you. Your load is kind, easy, light. I no longer want to carry this weight. And however long it remains, I’ll keep giving it to you. Day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. I don’t want to feel this darkness or carry this heaviness. I don’t want to live in my emotions or circumstances. I want to believe that what is real is beyond what I think and see and feel. I am not my own truth. You are. Your love is. Your heart is. Your light is. 

You are my truth. Your love, your heart, your light—these are all I am asked to carry with you.

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