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Giving a Burden to the Lord

I had several sacks to give to the Salvation Army, so I called and asked them to come by, and then I put the sacks on the front porch so they could pick them up regardless of whether or not I was at home. They were to come on Thursday, but I got my days mixed up and thought they were to come on Wednesday. They didn’t come that Wednesday, of course, so all afternoon I had those sacks on my mind: I’d go to the door…yep! Sacks still there. It’s raining. Go out and move the sacks. Night came. Will the sacks be safe? Morning. Better check on the sacks. On Thursday, they were late coming, and once again, I assumed responsibility for “watching over the sacks.” Then they came. I watched as they picked them up, my sacks, and drove away with them in the back of their truck. The sacks had changed hands; they were not my burden any longer.

Since that Thursday years ago, I haven’t called the Salvation Army a single time to check on those sacks. I suppose you could say I trusted them to take care with the things I gave to them and, since they do that kind of work all the time, that I was confident it would be done well.

Letting those sacks go is an easy analogy of a profound practice: giving a burden to the Lord and leaving it there. But when the burden is immense and crushing, the exercise of giving it to Him, of “casting” it onto Him, is no different.

At this moment, you may by enduring a difficult and painful experience in your life; it may have started months ago, or it could be the lingering stigma of an incident from your past. You want desperately to give this burden to God. To know that He has it in His hands; you want, sometimes more than others, release from stress, the depression, the pressure, the pain, the weariness. The following is a seeing-is-believing exercise for giving a burden to the Lord — and leaving it there:

1. Get a watch, a felt-tipped pen, a piece of paper, a pencil, an envelope, and a half brick (or something around the same weight and size).

2. Go to the nearest store that carries helium balloons and buy a plump one which will allow you to write on it with your pen.

3. With all your paraphernalia, go immediately to a field, a vacant lot, the football stadium, the park—anywhere spacious without trees or buildings.

4. With your felt-tipped pen, write as many details of your circumstances as you need to on the balloon in order to identify it with your problems.

5. Now, hold your brick and the string to the balloon in your hand, lifting your arm straight out at a 45-degree angle. As you do this begin talking to the Lord about your burden; tell Him every detail! Tell Him you can’t carry this burden any longer; tell Him how angry you are, how hurt, how tired—tell Him everything. Hold that rock and balloon up until your arm is hurting so badly you don’t know if you’re crying over your burden or because of the pain in your arm.

6. When you can’t hold your arm up another second, with the command for “casting your burden on the Lord” in your heart and mind, praying and thanking Him for His concern, His power, and His love for you, drop the rock and set your balloon free, releasing your burden and easing your pain. Watch it climb, see it disappear into the very dwelling place of God.

7. Finally, take your paper and record the date and time with this statement: “On _______(date), at________(time), I gave my burden to the Lord.” Now print this: “and He took it.” Look for the balloon. Can you see it? A tiny speck?

Fold your paper and put it in your envelope. Seal it and print “God” and the date and time on the front. Don’t lose that envelope; you will pick it up many times and thank God for what He did for you on this day.

8. Thank Him. When you get home, get an index card and cut it into three pieces. On each slip of paper, write God/the date/the time. Put those cards some place where you will see them often (over the sink, in the medicine cabinet, on the dash of your car): every time you glance at that card, visualize that speck in the sky–the burden, out of your reach, out of your control, and in the arms of God.

It’s a simple exercise, and yet it will be much like an altar erected in remembrance reminding you of what God has done. Does this mean that you will never cry again? No. Does it mean your emotions will never rocket to the top again? Of course not. Will you want desperately to take the burden back at times? Yes. Does this mean you will not hurt anymore or that you are not to be involved in that person’s life anymore? No. You continue to encourage him, to present your needs to him; you communicate with him, tell him what you think and feel. There has been only one decisive change: the burden is no longer yours.

When you give God your burden, when you cast it onto Him, He picks up the sacks—your sacks—and drives off with them. Do you suppose you can trust Him to take care of the burden you gave Him? Yes, and you can be confident it will be done well, beyond your wildest imaginings, really—He does this kind of work all the time…


This material is reprinted from Anabel Gillham’s book, The Confident Woman. This book is available through your bookstore or through Lifetime Guarantee for $9.99 plus shipping. To order your copy, or to request information about other ministry resources, call or write to the address below.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.