My world has recently been covered by an, out of season, wonder of Winter white.  Today I noticed some of our backyard trees bending under the weight of the snow that had accumulated on their branches. Upon closer inspection some of the branches had even broken from the extra weight. It made me think about the extra weight on those branches and how it is similar to the extra weight we often carry on our spirits.

Throughout our lives we pick up and carry extra weight that we are not intended to carry. By “extra weight” I mean things we take on that we are supposed to give to God to carry (ummm, which is everything). Often those weights are worry about a situation in our lives or maybe old hurts that we have not forgiven. The weight can also be lies we have believed about us or even the physical pain and suffering of others. Just like the individual snowflakes accumulated to weigh down and break the strong tree branches our spirits can accumulate weights in small pieces and lead to trouble. If we are not vigilant to the weight accumulation in our spirits and actively taking steps to offload it, we can become unnecessarily weighed down and sometimes even break under that extra weight. So, I ask you, “What is weighing you down?”

The paragraphs above may not initially make sense to you. Please hang with me as I explain. God fully intends to carry our burdens for us, in fact He commands us to give all to Him in His Word:

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

God desires that we cast all of our worries and anxieties on Him not because He has nothing to do but because He created us to lean on Him and fully trust Him. When we fret and worry about a situation we, in essence, carry the weight of that situation on our hearts and spirits. We are not designed by God to carry that extra weight. Instead, He has designed us to turn to Him in any and every situation and let Him carry that weight for us. In fact, when we refuse to give a worry to God, we are showing distrust of His character and ultimately telling Him we don’t think He can handle it for us. Reread the last part of that sentence, “we are ultimately telling Him (the God of everything) that we don’t think He can handle it for us.”  REALLY?! Upon rereading that, I hope you feel and accept how absolutely and undeniable ridiculous that statement is in reference to God.

In keeping a worry or care on us we are saying we distrust God. A quick search for Distrust online offers powerful perspective:

distrust as a noun – the feeling that someone or something cannot be relied upon.
synonyms: mistrust, suspicion, wariness, chariness, lack of trust, lack of confidence, lack of faith

distrust as a verb – doubt the honesty or reliability of; regard with suspicion.
synonyms: mistrust, be suspicious of, be wary/chary of, regard with suspicion, suspect, look askance at, have no confidence/faith in

If I look at those definitions and apply it to not giving God my cares/worries/anxieties it is terrifying. In holding my troubles and cares I am saying that I don’t find God reliable – I am regarding Him with suspicion, thinking that I need to be wary of Him and His ways. Ouch, I do NOT want to be saying that about my Heavenly Father in any way, shape or form!

If that hit you deep in your spirit, don’t dismiss it. Walk it out with God and spend time with Him to inspect the ways you are not actively trusting Him. It may seem daunting to overcome your distrust of Him but remember, He built you to trust in Him – 100%. So, He will help you learn to do so, IF you go to Him to ask for, then accept His help. You will learn to walk in trust, pouring out all your worries to Him and living under His tender care, like the way The Passion Translation words I Peter 5:7:

Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.

This brings up an important part of the process of trusting God. You pour out all your worries and cares to Him then you leave them there. Do not pick them up again and actively fight the urge to do so. If you feel like you give your cares to God in prayer, then you walk away and immediately take them all back on, it is cause for some God ordained introspection. Don’t be afraid to sit in quiet with Him and directly ask Him why you don’t trust Him. Allow the Holy Spirit to show you where your mistrust comes from and how you can work with Him to banish it forever.

Other weights in our spirits can stem from unforgiveness that we are carrying. If you are holding old hurts against others, you are carrying unnecessary weight on your spirit. While one old hurt may not seem like much, think of the little snowflake. It seems to be unable to cause any damage on its own accord but once it sticks it invites others to stick with it and soon, in tandem with its buddies, it wreaks havoc on the tree branches with accumulated weight. Likewise, unforgiveness in our spirits opens a door to other hurts and keeps us tied to the offenders holding us back from a full and meaningful relationship with God. Jesus knew this fact, that is why He commands us to forgive others and reminds us to do so in His prayer:

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12

Jesus knew that unforgiveness was unhealthy for us and blocks our relationship with Him. So, He taught us to be mindful of that in His infamous prayer. Are you withholding forgiveness from someone? If you are unsure, think of a situation/comment that has happened to you and listen to your spirit. If you feel anger or bitterness or any wave of negative emotions, I would say you have unforgiveness associated with that situation/comment. Want to know how I know? Because I have unforgiveness too. Again, this is cause for some God ordained introspection.

I have been working through my unforgiveness bit by bit. As I walk through that process, I am being freed from old lies I have believed about me. I am also closing old doors that were left open by that unforgiveness and I am walking in more freedom and peace than I ever could have imagined. Old wounds leave doors open from which the enemy of your soul can enter and attack. In standing up against unforgiveness and working through those old wounds, you can free yourself (and others) and enjoy closer communion with your Abba Father.

The Holy Spirit alone can walk you through that process, or you can work with others He has ordained to do so. I am working with a Prayer Minister through Wellspring Ministries. She is helping me identify old wounds, old lies and old open doors in my heart and spirit. Then, she is leading me through prayer to heal those wounds, break those lies and seal those doors from further attack. Through this process, I am receiving amazing truths about God’s love for me.  I can see how I have been living in distrust for years and I can see how God has always been faithful to me even when I didn’t trust Him.

God is Awesome and He longs to be Your Abba Father. He longs to carry your weights so you can simply walk in His freedom and Shine for Him. Dear one, I pray that you will spend time in the presence of the Almighty King to allow Him to cleanse you of everything so you can stand tall, even in the snowstorms of life. Enjoy the process of freeing your spirit from the extra weight, then walk tall and shine brightly!

Love and blessings,