I’m trudging across the campus with a bag full of library books to return. My arms ache and the morning sun feels much hotter than it should. Finally, I reach the book return and unload each book one by one. The feeling of sudden lightness, of relief and ease, and of simple comfort takes me by surprise. I had forgotten the feeling of a light load. I recall some stunning statements in the Bible about carrying heavy burdens:
- “Cast all your cares upon him, for he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
- “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble and heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
The words of Libby Miller from Camp Greystone return, as they often do, when I’m experiencing the burden of a heavy load–either emotionally or physically. Libby pulled me aside on a day when I was stressed out, overburdened, and weighed down by so many tasks.
She said, “Heather, stress comes when we try to assume responsibility for things that aren’t our responsibility.”
What could she mean? I sat there, staring into space with that stressed out, frazzled, exhausted and hollow look I get when everything feels like a weight on my soul, and then I snapped back to reality. She was right. I had a list of things to do and people to manage and care for, but the truth was that God was in charge of me and everything concerning this list of tasks. God was responsible for my life, my tasks, my situation. In Christ, I find rest for my soul. I take all the weary burdens, and I cast them into His care and keeping.
Libby Miller spoke that sentence to me 21 summers ago, and it returns to me every few months. I’m so thankful for wise sentences!
I recall the truth: Jesus is working on our behalf and inviting us into His rest that’s easy and light.