A friend of mine once pressured me to tell him what was on my heart. He could tell that whatever it was had been taking me over and drawing out all of my energy and enthusiasm. I denied telling him the answer for the longest time because I didn’t want my burdens to become his burdens. The thought of him thinking about and dwelling on my burdens troubled me and I made a conscious effort to not let that happen. He was persistent in asking me to tell him and I was persistent in denying him the answer.
As time went on he remained constant in his irritating and unrelenting desire to know. Eventually, he decided to confront me about it. He asked why I had been so stubborn in giving him an answer to his question. I told him what I had said earlier — I didn’t want my burdens to become his burdens. Being the genuinely kind-hearted and Jesus-loving person that he is, he carefully softened my pride and told me several words that I’ll never forget. He said, “Anna, it’s not a burden. It’s an opportunity for me to pray for you.” That left me speechless and with tears in my eyes. It was so simple but showed so much evidence of the love within our friendship and the example of God’s love that he is.
He went on to further explain to me how anything I was going through shouldn’t be a burden for me, and it would never be a burden for him either. In his eyes, encountering adversity within his own life, or even in the lives of others, is just an opportune time to pray. I don’t even remember at this point what it was that I was so anxious about, I just remember what he said and the wisdom behind it. Those words have continued to pop up in my brain ever since and I couldn’t be more thankful for his willingness to share that simple truth with me.
We’ve probably all been told that truth before, just in a different way. In Philippians 4 it talks about letting your requests be made known to God. How are you going to do that without prayer? It says:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” – Philippians 4:6 NKJV
God listens when you speak to Him. It doesn’t always seem like it and you don’t always get a reaction right away, but He does listen. How often do you stress out about the little things? How often do you feel anxious about the things to come? How often do you worry, fear, and hurt? How often are you choosing to be satisfied with undesirable circumstances? Whatever you answered for those questions, you need to know that there is more.
You weren’t made for mediocrity. You weren’t made to feel inadequate. You weren’t made to suffer. Jesus did the suffering for us. He softened his own pride and allowed for nails to be driven through his flesh for you and I. All of your sins are forgiven and you are worthy of everything that God has in store for you. There is no sense in keeping your struggles bottled up when you have God offering up his love and endless grace with open arms.
“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings” – Psalm 61:1-4 NIV
Did you see that? When your heart is faint, call out to Jesus. Pursue Him within adversity. He is worthy of your praise and you are worthy of his love. Don’t bottle up all of your worries, doubts, insecurities, and fears. Stop rationalizing stress and continuing on like it’s all good. He cares for you. He wants you to talk to him about the good things, as well as the bad. You can’t be in a thriving relationship if you don’t ever share your thoughts and feelings, correct? It’s the same thing with your relationship with Jesus. Share what’s on your heart. Lift everything up as a prayer and it will no longer be a burden.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1 NIV
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” – 1 John 5:14 NIV
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” – 1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will callon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'” – Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
“BibleGateway.” BibleGateway.com: A Searchable Online Bible in over 150 Versions and 50 Languages. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2017.