Possessing the last name Tschanz and calling Colorado home can only mean one thing, or maybe two- a love for the outdoors and adventures. Which often collide in a lovely activity known as camping.
Growing up my dad would always drag my sister and I on a camping trip which always involved a lot of work, hiking, setting up a tent, collecting firewood, building said fire… not exactly a six-year-old girl’s idea of a thrilling time.
It wasn’t until I was older, much older, that I realized what a retreat in the wilderness could mean- peace. Nature quietly gives rest to your soul, the beauty allows you to get lost for awhile. It also means distraction-free quality time with those we love, friends, family and, for me, God.
God has always staggered me where I stood in His creation. My most intimate moments were always found on a hillside where the wind seemed whisper promises of a life of adventure and love. Heaven never seems far away sitting next to the ocean or standing on top of a mountain.
So when I found out that I would have the opportunity to spend the week hiking 10 miles into the woods to hear from God, I was expectant and truthfully a little overconfident. I knew we would be carrying a pack, but after climbing Kilimanjaro and many 14ers I thought I could handle any amount of weight. I carelessly packed my pack and it ended being 40 lb., roughly 30% of my body weight.
One mile in and my hips were killing me, all 40 lb. digging into them. I tried to take my mind off of the weight by thinking of God, but the pressure made it nearly impossible to think about anything but the burden on my back. Not even the quiet of the woods could bring peace with this thing I was carrying.
Burdens have a way of consuming our thoughts, don’t they?
When we finally reached our campsite for the night I dumped my pack and as I began to walk around it literally felt like I was floating. Walking took no effort, my muscles were light and springy- and free.
I felt like I was giving some glorious gift of freedom with my burden gone, despite my exhaustion I even skipped around a little.
It was in that joy that God started speaking to me about some other burdens that I was still carrying around, the burden of trying to figure out my future, of trying to please everyone and of financial provision, to name a few. Just the thought of those things made me feel heavy again.
Thanks God, thank you for reminding me of all of the things I have to do and the things I have no idea of how to accomplish.
And He just says lay ‘em down. Dump your burdens at my feet, just drop it.
How? It’s not like a pack that I can just take off. I can’t just lay everything at your feet and expect it all to get done.
God, show me how to lay those burdens down. Because right now my knuckles are turning white I am gripping so hard, and I am afraid that if I loosen my grip- even a little bit- that everything will fall apart.
He just asks me to remember. To remember how He has never let me down, not even once. I have never lived a life of lack, He has always provided everything from the clothes on my back to friends who comforted me when I was sad.
His provision flashed through my mind like some kind of glorious slideshow. As it played my grip slackened and before I knew it my burdens had dropped at His feet.
This is how you lay your burdens down, you just remember who God is and you trust. You trust that He is who He says He is and that your life is much more beautiful in His hands.
It is in that spirit of remembrance and thankfulness that the burdens just fall, without you even having to try.
So, my friends, what things have your knuckles white with the pressure? And why are you carrying it.
Just lay those burdens down.