Never have I ever realized how much we carry and overlook in life as I have in the last two weeks. After having been rear-ended twice in New Orleans, this third accident (not a big deal) was sign enough that I needed to slow down and listen. Because of all the different things God has me doing right now, I’ve been more aware of Him and more aware of how I feel in every area.
Imagine you have one brick on a wagon. Then you go to a stop, and you pick up another. You continue picking up bricks along the way, making the wagon heavier and heavier. But you never take any bricks off, you just keep carrying them with you. What you don’t realize, is that while you develop the strength necessary to carry the bricks and drag them along with you, you have no reason for carrying them. Somehow you assumed that you were to continue carrying them and never to drop them off. You created the illusion of strength because for some reason you believed you were supposed to keep carrying and dragging the bricks along with you.
How many of you do that? Ignore your own pain? Or develop such a high tolerance for pain that you are ignoring your body’s attempts to point out to you that something is wrong? How long have you carried the heartache? How long have you ignored your feelings about that situation? How long have you build unnecessary resistance in your body for the need to keep going?
I now appreciate that God mandated a day of rest for a reason. For too long, I just kept pushing myself to meet this unrealistic expectation of productivity all while ignoring the pains I was feeling. This week I have been so achy, so tired, and so restless because of the heaviness of the other burdens God was pulling off me that I finally listened. I got in the bed last night before 11, if not before 10! I was so sleepy driving home that I almost fell asleep and swerved a little into the lane next to me. I realized that it is critical to give yourself time to heal in every situation, be it physical, relational, mental, emotional, or spiritual. You need time to allow your body to feel the pain, to begin the process of muscle repair. You need the time to separate and withdraw so that God can give you what you need to let go, to remove the bandage.
How do you recognize it? Hmmm, this is tricky. How I realized it, yesterday I realized it as I left the chiropractor. I had a slightly mild headache all afternoon yesterday and was just achy getting into the bed last night. It made me realize how much I ignored those little aches and had just accepted them as life. I realized, however, that the pain necessary to get you where you should be is more painful when you have allowed those pains to sit. It is more difficult to correct a set in problem than it is to deal with a new one. It’s more painful to allow your hurts to sit. It requires more conscious effort on your behalf to forgive and release the pain from a 20 year old issue than a new one.
So today, I encourage you to spend some time alone and acknowledge the pains you’ve been carrying. It’s time to unload them. If you need help or support in the process, I’ll be available to pray with and for you. There is so much life to live on the other side of pain. So much freedom in Christ. So much liberation and healing. So much abundance. You can’t feel or have any of that if you won’t let go.
Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28