Prayer Notes #13 — Casting Burdens


Churn; photo by GAC

Dear Jesus, I am awake now more than an hour before I need to be.  My fears woke me up.  Or did you wake me up in order to deal with me about my fears?

I feel as if I am living very randomly, driven by my impulses and whims.  And these impulses and whims, though not in every case evil, are, taken together, making a nasty mess of my life.

Now, I feel overwhelmed.  The “waves and billows” of the psalms (Psalm 18:4; Psalm 42:7; Psalm 46:3; Psalm 65:7; Psalm 93:3) are surging over my head, and I am drowning.  I’m not yet in a panic, but I feel the panic pulsing up in my throat.

Just below this line, printed in the margin of this bound notebook are these words, also from a psalm, “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you.” Psalm 55:22.  Did you wake me up and bring me down here specifically so that I would open this prayer notebook and read that line?  How am I to do that casting of my burden?  Am I doing now by laying it before you in prayer?

What does it mean that you will sustain me?  Does it mean that you will resolve my problems, the things

Cape Cod Bay Just Before Sunset; photo by GAC

that make me panicky?  Does it mean that you will change me — am I not the root of all — well, almost all — the problems that terrify me?

I cast my burden on you because I am simply and obviously not able to bear it myself.  I am so flawed, so fractured in all my own resources.  I am rendered so frail and so impotent in all my own abilities.  I am not able to sustain myself.  I have fallen under my burden, and I cannot get up.  I trapped under the burden of my own inability and brokenness.  I am myself the burden that has borne me down into the dust of the road.

I am almost on the verge of asking you to fix me, so that I will be able to carry my own burden.  But that is to ask you to make me in such a way that I don’t need you anymore.  But surely that is the opposite of what “casting my burden on you” means.

The psalmist would have me embrace an intimate dependence on you.  You want me to lay my burdens before you particularly and specifically.  You want me to rely on you to particularly and specifically work in each of my various burdens and needs — which are also opportunities and possibilities.  But they only change from burdens and needs to opportunities and possibilities when I have cast them upon you.

Sunset Over Cape Cod Bay; photo by GAC

© 2010 Gary A. Chorpenning

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4 Responses to “Prayer Notes #13 — Casting Burdens”
  1. Heather says:

    I am learning to embrace that intimate dependence on Him. I can very much relate to this prayer. I have seen that in my weakness, He is so strong!

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  2. Frank says:

    “I am almost on the verge of asking you to fix me, so that I will be able to carry my own burden. But that is to ask you to make me in such a way that I don’t need you anymore. ”

    This is very thought provoking. I had never considered this before. Thank you.

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  3. Erin says:

    Wow. That is soooooooo powerful.

    “I am almost on the verge of asking you to fix me, so that I will be able to carry my own burden. But that is to ask you to make me in such a way that I don’t need you anymore.”

    I ask for that repair over and over. Is that not what He wants me to do? Ask for His help? Ask for His help to make me more like Jesus? To be rid of my impulses and whims that have made “a nasty mess of my life?” Impulses and whims that cause me to sin?

    You have given me a boatload of thoughts to think. 🙂

    Erin

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