One night a few years back, my youngest daughter was having a hard time with fear. She was watching a TV show that was very family friendly, but the commercials in between were horrific! Lots of horror films were being advertised because it was close to Halloween. I have no idea why the people who sell ads for family friendly shows think it's appropriate to show these commercials, but I digress.
Anyway, once Peyton got a picture in her head, she just couldn't shake it and even though she knew all the scriptures, knew all the ways to try to not think about it, I think the enemy just used it against her. She's super sensitive to those things for some reason. So that night, she was crying and shaking and asking to sleep with me (again).
I took her out on the couch, snuggled with her and chatted with her calmly. I said, "Peyton, if you were carrying 2 big sacks of potatoes and they were really, really heavy - to the point of your arms burning and you feeling you couldn't take another step, but then Jesus comes along with His big, strong arms and His loving heart to help you and says 'Peyton, may I carry those sacks for you?' then what would you do?
She thought for a moment and said, "I'd give Him one of the sacks and keep the other I guess so He wouldn't have to struggle so much." I paused and realized my point had been sort of detoured, but then answered, "OK, but what if He really wanted to carry both of them and let you rest awhile? What if He insisted that He take both?" She said, "Oh, then I'd give Him both but I'd walk beside Him so we could talk and He wouldn't be alone."
I told her, "Well, Jesus tells us He wants to carry our fears and our problems because it's more than we can handle. He has big, strong arms to do that for us but for some reason we try to hold on to our problems. Do you think you could picture yourself giving your problems to Him?" She said she could and as her tears saturated my shirt, I saw a little smile for the first time. It was precious.
As I tried to drift off to sleep I couldn't help but see my daughter takes after me in a lot of ways. I often try to "help Jesus out" by carrying just some of my problems and burdens. Yet, He says He wants them all. Why don't I just give them all to Him?
How cool that Peyton realized that once she gave the load to Jesus, she wanted to walk with Him and talk to Him. That's just so rich in meaning, though I'm sure she didn't mean for it to be. In her childhood innocence, she realizes that her relationship with Jesus is important and she wants to walk with Him as He carries her burdens. How often do I give Him my problems and then run ahead of Him, forgetting to nurture that relationship? How often do I take for granted that He is carrying my load?
The more I talk with my children, the more I realize I have so much to learn. What a blessing to hear the heart of a child. What has a child taught you lately?
1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.