Monday, October 31, 2011

Put It Down

We all sat smiling around the table as we watched the toddler precariously balancing the 6 toy trains in his arms. He sat down in the middle of the kitchen and played with them for quite some time. We continued our conversation until we heard his cry and his mum went over to see what was wrong.

His little arms were having trouble holding all the trains as he tried to get up, and as he bent over to pick up each one that fell, another would topple to the ground. I heard his mum say some familiar words, “Put it down, that’s too much to carry”. Though he tried with all his might, he just ended up frustrated and crying. His mum held him in her arms, reassured him and helped him carry the trains to where he wanted to go.

You might not think those words are particularly familiar, but I hear them all the time when I try to hold on to too much in life. I load up my life with activities, responsibilities, worries, distractions… and very soon I end up frustrated and despairing that I can’t possibly carry them all.

Sometimes I look to my heavenly father when I feel my arms getting full, but most often I don’t run to him until my pile of cares are toppling or in a heap on the floor. But each time I go to Him, he holds me in His arms, reassures me that He is there, and reminds me I don’t have to carry all that by myself.

The little boy was so sad that He couldn’t carry his load of trains, but he never had to do it on his own. His mum gladly gave him the most special train and carried the rest herself.

God didn’t intend for us, nor does he expect us to carry our burdens alone. Sometimes he just wants us to sit at his feet, sometimes he carries the load for us, and sometimes uses a friend nearby to help. But I always find Him sympathetically drawing alongside His little child in despair and whispering these words, “Put them down, that is too much to carry.”

It might be that God wants you to put some things down and rest in His arms, but it may be that God wants you to put something down in order to carry something for Him.

On the same night I asked my son to bring the box of toys he was playing with upstairs so the other children could join him. “I can’t do that with one hand” he replied as he tightly clutched his favourite car in the other. In order to help others, he needed to let go of that one thing he considered so important so that he could share the rest of what he had with others. Often God asks us to give up that which we cling to in order to bless others. And of course in the process we are also blessed.

What things are you holding on to at the moment that God might be asking you to put down?

Are you making yourself frustrated, sad or despairing because you are trying to carry too much?

Are you saying “No” to the particular task God has for you because it will mean letting go of something important to you?

Trust Him. He sees what you are going through and wants the best for you.

It’s time to lay it down and take His hand.

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