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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Casting Your Burdens

" Cast thy burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22

We all have burdens. Situations come into our lives that may feel heavy, annoying, hopeless, and just plain too much for us to bear. Our human tendency is to lash out or crumble
under their weight. To be honest, if I did not know God and continually keep Him in the forefront of my heart, soul, and mind, I would resemble a squished bug at this point.

When my oldest son was in the throws of drug addiction I and my whole family was living every day in a cyclonic funnel. Uncertainty was the norm. Nothing we did to "help" our son seemed to be helping, life was out of our control, he was completely out of control, and fear ruled in our hearts. Day by day we watched helplessly as he continually made poor choices, rebelled against our rules by staying out late, came home high, stole from us and others, and constantly lied. Adding to these obvious stresses, was the internal battle going on inside of me. Why God? Why my son? What did I do wrong? I must be a horrible mother that my son chose this route. I was riddled with guilt and shame. I felt nervous all the time. I feared that phone call or visit from the police telling me my son had overdosed. Truly this was one of the most burdensome times in my life.

I am sharing this with you in light of today's passage in Psalms. At the time all this was happening, my relationship with God was born. I was so distraught at one point with the reality that I could lose my son at any moment, that I could scarcely function. I honestly didn't know if I would make it through. I felt if anything happened to my son that I would surely die, and actually looking back I was in danger of dieing. Had I not cried out to God in that dark moment literally casting my burden on Him, I am sure Satan would have gotten his way and I wouldn't be here writing this today. In my desperation I begged God to take this burden from my heart, to take control of my life and take control of my son's life as well. I gave my son to God entrusting the God who gave him his life to take care of him and me. I was so completely broken at my failure.

Now I'd love to say that everything just melted away and we lived happily ever after, but that is NOT how it went. My son's behaviors actually escalated, he did end up overdosing(my worst fear) but thankfully his life was spared. He ended up spending a couple years in and out of jail. He became more and more manipulative and self centered. He wouldn't accept any help, or acknowledge he had any problem unless it was what we wanted to hear in order to get what he wanted. But what did happen in my life was incredible. I no longer was alone in this battle. God became a very real presence, He guided me to constructive resources and placed support people in my path. He helped me see that my son was also His child and just as he was watching out for me all these years he was also watching over Him. That as much as I loved my son, He loved him even more. This brought me a great amount of peace, just knowing I was not alone. As I sought God and met with Him throughout my days, He opened my eyes to the ways I could truly help my son, He showed me areas where I was enabling his behavior and He gave me the strength to stand firmly in this truth making it clear and guiding me in ways to reverse my enabling patterns. When I began to change my ways of reacting to my sons manipulation it pushed my son to start manipulating others who were even less likely to let his poor choices slide and the result ended in his final incarceration. Gods divine orchestration of this final lock up is just so clear to me today. He placed my son in situations where he had to really look at himself and make some choices. Thankfully my son chose well. He no longer had his enabling mother to "save" him. and he had plenty of time to think about it as he sat in prison for 8 months.

Had I not given my burden to God to help me carry, I and my son would not be where we are today. I am sure we'd still be in that cyclone of a life or we would not have any life at all. Choosing God was, is, and always will be the answer. He doesn't necessarily take the circumstances away but He rather takes your hand and accompanies you through it.

Today, 2yrs later, my son is following God. Realizing, without Gods hand in his life he would be completely lost. Sometimes we have to go through crushing burdensome times in our lives. How we go through them is the key. Do we try to go it alone, struggling in our own power feeling crushed and hopeless? Or will we let go of ourselves and our burdens, trusting them into God's hands? God promises when we do, that He will sustain us...and He DOES!

What is weighing you down today? Have you been going in circles with something? If so take some time today to get alone with God. Pour your burdens out to Him. Even if you think it's hopeless, do it anyway. Give all your thoughts, feelings, and circumstances to Him, admit your weakness, and when you've laid it all out before God...leave it there and trust that He will now take what you've left with Him and be your life sustainer though it. There will still be things you may need to do. But God will help you to see it more clearly and give you the strength needed to persevere.

Thank You Father God, for Your desire to carry our burdens, for making Yourself available to us 24/7 in order that we can come and cast them onto You. Help us to be aware of our weakness and powerlessness over our lives and to realize that our strength and power reside in You and You alone. Help our faith and trust in you grow, and may we boldly bear witness to all the burdens You have helped us carry over the years so as to bring glory to Your name. Amen.

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