Twelve a.m., three twenty a.m, five o’clock a.m. The darkness and my thoughts were surrounding me, suffocating me, and if I cried out to God once to please let me sleep, I made the request a hundred times.
It’s been a bit challenging around my house the past few weeks to find any space or time to be alone with Jesus. We had a pipe burst and flood half my home almost four weeks ago, and nothing has been fun or easy about this process. In all honesty, it’s been difficult to have much normalcy around here, including quiet time, the times when I rest in Jesus and listen to his voice.
Over the past year and a half I have been going through a wilderness type of season. God is graciously leading me through the process and I know I’m on my way to the promise. However, along the way, I have experienced some isolation and even some rejection from others. The wilderness can often be a lonely place, dry and empty, and I have been battling this part of the process for months. Most days I seem to have a pretty good handle on it, well, until last night.
As I lay there watching the hours pass by, in the stillness of the night, I began to break. The thoughts of friendships falling apart, the fear of disappointing people, the feeling that I will never be enough haunted me, but in the midst of the terror racing in my mind, I heard God whisper, “Give. It. To. Me. You don’t have to carry this, let me take it from you.” This was an aha moment for me. I’ve laid this struggle down before, but somewhere along the way, I’d picked it back up. I had been carrying something I wasn’t meant to shoulder and all the while I was convinced God had forgotten I’d given it to Him. The reality is, I had taken it from Him.
As I lay there emptied of myself, I finally understood, I may have to put this thing down a hundred times a day, but that’s okay. Laying in bed, one minute I would have such peace in my surrender, only to have the fiery darts flying as I shut my eyes to rest. So again, I placed it back down, gave God permission to take it from me and time after time, He was glad to receive it back. What I’m learning is, the more I hand it to Him, the less I want it back.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17
God wants us to rest in the freedom He can give us. If you’ve found yourself feeling like God has forgotten your burden, try giving it back to Him. Don’t be discouraged if you do this a million times a day. God came to set us free from all sin and all the things that enslave us. He’s happy to receive it from you, however many times it takes. Leave. It. Lay.
Out of my distress, I called on the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me free.