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
I took her out on the couch, snuggled with her and chatted with her calmly after I prayed for wisdom. I said, "Peyton, if you were carrying some suitcases 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 for you?' then what would you do?
She thought for a moment and said, "I'd give Him one of the suitcases 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 all of them and let you rest awhile? What if He insisted that He take them all for you?" She said, "Oh, then I'd give them to Him, but I'd walk beside Him so we could talk and He wouldn't be alone."
Oh my gosh her heart was so sweet.
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 that night, 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 precious 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 probably didn't realize that at the moment. In her childhood innocence, she realized 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?
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.