Too Much to Carry

There’s a funny video of me as a kid on a serious mission to collect all the rocks on a trail in Oregon. I stuffed so many rocks in the pockets of my overalls that I eventually fell over. In my shock, I started to cry and my mom picked me up to comfort me.

In many ways, I am still that same kid. Once I get it in my head that there is something I ought to do, I do it with such intense focus, while pushing the limits of my own capacity, and then I surprise myself when I suddenly collapse. Why couldn’t I pick up every rock off of the trail? Surely I should’ve been able to.

Although I can chuckle at my stubborn determination and my self-imposed sense of responsibility, I am still needing to be discipled to learn that some rocks were not meant for me to carry. With so many people hurting right now, I want to be available to everyone. I want to respond to every request on social media to do what is right and good. I want to be a straight-A student and excel at my work. I want to suffer with those who suffer and hold their pain close to my heart.

But I will never be able to hold all that responsibility in my tiny little pockets. And Jesus has never asked me to. Instead, I hear him saying “Kelly, let’s pick out a few rocks together for you to hold onto, but let me be the one to hold you and this entire mountain.” And like a comforting mother, he reminds me that I am going to be ok. My determination will not be what saves me. I can trust Jesus when he says it is ok to say “no.”

What rocks have you picked up in this season? Which of them has Jesus asked you to carry and which of them have you picked up by your own determination? How do you sense Jesus comforting you when you realize it’s too much to carry by yourself?

In my next post, I will write more about how to discern what invitations and opportunities are from Jesus.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30, NLT

Published by K.Aalseth

Kelly J. Aalseth is the Coordinator for Leadership Development for InterVarsity in Greater Los Angeles. She is an author, coach, preacher, and trainer.

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