Posted by: pmarkrobb | August 15, 2016


We are weightlifters.  We attempt to bear the full weight of our burdens (and many times other people’s, too).  If we do “cast our cares,” it often looks like the cast of a fisherman. The care leaves us, but it is not long before we reel it back in and throw it over our shoulder to carry once again.  We spend time weight training and challenging our resolve in the pointless pursuits of “bulking up” and increasing our stamina.  All this to be able to carry more, lighten the load of what we are already carrying, or extend the distance we can walk before buckling under the weight.  We wear our incremental “achievements” like Olympic medals — outward evidence of “stronger.”   We take heart in our progress or judge ourselves harshly in our failures.

This mindset is an unmistakable by-product of our sin nature.  The instinct and capacity to carry was not in God’s design for us.  Blessed are the weak, meek, poor and poor in spirit, the Bible says repeatedly.

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Psalm 55:22

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Did you notice the repeated mention of “I” in the verses above?  Those mentions are not an exercise in <insert your name here>, they are the voice of the great I Am!  I Am is with you; I Am is your God; I Am will hold you up; I Am will strengthen you; I Am will give you rest; and I Am has overcome the world!  This is Who is for you.

Jesus wants to bear our burdens.  He wants us to give them to Him fully and freely.  He is willing to engage with us about their nature and purpose, but we are not meant to carry them ourselves.  Don’t waste your time building up muscle to make the weight lighter or to increase your own strength, so you can carry more.

I leave you with words which formed in my mind last week as I rode home from work.  I was burdened over the circumstances of a friend.  I was praying and listening to some encouraging music as I unconsciously made the series of rights and lefts that led me home.  At some point the music faded and the Spirit spoke…

The only distance we are ever expected to carry our burdens (our sins, our circumstances or those of others) is the single breath that defines the distance between where we are right now and the foot of the cross.

Cease striving and know that He is God (Ps. 46:10).  Be a care “giver,” not a weightlifter.



  1. Thank you, what a great word of encouragement! Be a care “giver” not a weightlifter!

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