We surrendered our lives when we received the Lord Jesus Christ and let Him reign in us. But, as I had found out, the years go by and we come to realize that there may still be many things that we are holding back. The heavy burden that we carry every now and then may prove that we have not surrendered all to Him. For He himself promised that when we come to Him, He will give us rest from our labors and heaviness (Mat. 11:28).
This heavy burden that we insist to pick up and carry and go about our days hauling it may come in different packages.
On our own, trying our best to analyze our problems and always straining to find ways to solve them (problems with the self, marriage, children, work, etc.).
Always striving to be good and do good in the sight of God and man, but the burden is heaviest when we fail and err, stumble even.
The guilt, shame, and inner turmoil our failures and shortcomings bring.
The fear of displeasing God for giving in to our emotions, for being easily provoked, for lacking self-control, for forgetting His commandments in the heat of the moment, for failing to be a light to others, and for just being plain foolish and weak in a moment’s time! The fear of losing His favor, of not receiving His blessing but His chastisement instead. Even the fear that He may decide to take me already that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (Remember 1 Cor. 5:5?). And naturally, I greatly hold on to my life. As far as I’m concerned, all THAT is heavy!
These negative emotions that come to visit every now and then – envy, comparisons, self-pity, discouragements, discontent, hunger, unfulfilled dreams, pesky desires and wants that we know are not aligned with God’s will. The struggle, the energy used to try to curb them, and the feelings of guilt and shame why we even have them close to our hearts and minds! They maybe godly desires and dreams but they carry with them the heavy burden of hunger.
I had all these at one time or another and while I sat there sobbing and feeling all the turmoil swirling within me and thinking (and at the same time listening to that inner voice!), “So, when will you pick up yourself and stop all these already!” (It was more of a shout than a question), I was at the same time wondering what the Lord Jesus could be thinking of my miserable state!
To have the fear of God is a good thing, but to try to hold on to all these things and muster every ounce of strength to carry the heavy burden will.not.work. And so one night, hauling all my burdens on my back, I dared approach the Lord. For one who had wonderfully messed up all good intentions, it was even hard to approach at all. But we have nowhere else to go. And we know that in the Lord, one would always find mercy. He has always room for a broken and contrite heart.
This is the way we can approach the throne of grace boldly, not that we are confident because of our perfect performance (for we miserably fail, don’t we?), but because we know He is perfect to forgive; He is strong to lift us up, and His love is complete to cover our shortcomings.
And that night, I gave Him all that I had been holding. Every.single.one.of.them. I did not leave anything un-surrendered.
Until we fully learn to hand over to Him all that we carry, surrendering absolutely EVERYTHING to Him (fears, problems, confusions, hurts, hunger, desires, dreams…) and not holding back anything, we will never truly find rest. Only in COMPLETE SURRENDER shall we find rest for our souls (emotions, mind, will).