“You just let go,” she said. “I’ll take the weight and you release it.” My eyes closed, I could feel her hands holding my head and my tender temples, but releasing doesn’t come naturally. I’m more used to holding the weight myself. I practice all the time, every day. But the massage therapist-in-training could feel my strain. “Had a hard week?” she asked. I thought about the bad news from home, the phone call at the office, the meeting that left me reeling, the needs of my loved one, the pain of my friend, the tragedy of a client, the events in my newsfeed, and the decision undecided. Life is a lot. I’m sure your life is a lot too.
She needed practice hours, and I was willing. Cradling my head in her hands, she coaxed me to close my eyes and rest the weight in her hands. Burden bearing takes little thought, but letting go takes a lot.
The strain of trials and worries accumulate without our permission. Some arrive abruptly with the sudden impact of a car in traffic, while some arrive quietly in the gradual drift of a valued relationship. We build up burdens without even thinking about it. Daily pressures of our relationships, work, decisions, responsibilities, and the world around us fuse together in a heavy weight. The human heart and mind often feel overwhelmed and distressed by trouble in our own lives, but add the global scope of awareness we now have, and it’s enough to make anyone’s muscles tighten up and result in dis-ease. We’re all hearing how news from social media and instant outlets crash over us like too many waves coming too fast, but we find it hard to look away or turn it off. It’s too much. How can we let go when life is a lot?
It takes trust to let someone hold our weight while we rest in their good intent and ability to hold us. People can love and support us, but friends, family, and professional helpers have their own “heavy.” Others can encourage, guide, and help, but they can’t hold us up.
The Bible talks about what God is like, about why He and how He can hold us. Because God is personal, He cares about taking our burdens. He made us, knows us, and loves us enough to invite us to let Him bear the weight of our life’s hardships.
“Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 – GNT)
He can hold me.
God knows our hard things are born out of our choices and mistakes or the choices and mistakes of others, but He doesn’t let that keep us from Him. He provides a way to eliminate separation between messy us and holy Him, so He can literally hold our heavy life in His more than capable hands. He’s can hold our heaviness because He’s strong and tender and knows His plans are not swallowed up by what feels like it could swallow us. He not only wants to hold us for a moment, but to work out the painful knots that plague us.
“This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.” (1 John 4:10 – GNT)
I let my head go in the hands of the therapist who worked out the tension of that week’s trouble. It was a temporary relief, and I wished she was my neighbor. As I write, this week was “a lot” again, and sadly I don’t have a free massage scheduled. But as sure as I am that more trouble will come, I am also sure God is “our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
5 Ways to let go if life is a lot
- Be sure you get the best basics to handle hard things: rest, quiet, water, good food.
- Read reassuring verses like these that give you assurance about God’s help.
- Talk to God about what feels heavy and ask for His guidance and strength.
- Share with a friend about what’s weighing you down and ask them to pray for you.
- Look at where the stress is coming from, and turn off what isn’t necessary.