Years ago, my dad helped Carson, my twelve-year-old brother, prepare for an overnight camping trip. “Son, now that your backpack is full, try it on and make sure you can manage the weight. It’s really heavy. You don’t need all these campfire pots and cans of food.”
“Oh, I can handle it, Dad. No problem. I’ve been swimming all summer, and I’m really strong. Will you put it on my back now?”
“Okay, but remember you’ll have to hike through the woods to the campsite.”
Carson slipped his arms through the straps. We watched as he rocked onto his toes and leaned forward, hoping to maintain his balance. Although his lanky arms boasted budding muscles, his slender frame was no match for the backpack’s weight.
I’m sorry to report this older sister laughed when the weight of the load pulled him backward and down. He wasn’t injured, but he landed on the kitchen tile and resembled a turtle who had the misfortune to land on his shell.
“You were right, Dad. I guess it’s a little too heavy. Maybe I should take out some of the pots and canned food. Will you help me repack?”
Sometimes as adults we carry around more weight than necessary and allow burdens to rob us of joy. We might insist we know best and struggle for a while leaning forward with determination to keep our balance. We often fail to take the next step—lightening our load.
Our heavenly Father offers wisdom in a passage about submission to Him.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride] …casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].”
1 Peter 5:6-7 Amplified
Ready for step one? The passage tells us humility is the first step toward a lighter load. When we recognize our inability and God’s strength, a humble heart positions us to seek and receive His help.
When we recognize our inability and God’s strength, a humble heart positions us to seek and receive His help. Click To Tweet
The second step involves “casting all your cares” on God. The word casting in verse seven means letting go of something and pitching it to another person or location. Humbling comes first, and casting follows.
Like my brother, when we realize our load is too heavy for our limited strength, we abandon pride and humble ourselves before one who can help us.
God designed us to depend on His strength, not our own. He planned to bear our burdens before we knew they existed.
God designed us to depend on His strength, not our own. He planned to bear our burdens before we knew they existed. Click To Tweet
Jesus bore the sins of the world on His shoulders. He’s certainly capable of carrying the heavy weights of our hearts.
Does the gravity of your burdens encumber a joyful walk with Christ? I hope the following idea will help you when your backpack weighs you down.
Draw a line down the center of a page in a notebook or journal. In the left-hand column, use a pencil to list burdens that distract you or weigh you down. In the right-hand column, list some of God’s promises. Consider these and others:
- He promises to forgive us when we confess (I John 1:9).
- He provides for our needs (Philippians 4:19, Matthew 7:11).
- He offers peace (John 14:27) and wisdom (Proverbs 2:6).
Now imagine holding each burden in your hands. Read 1 Peter 5:7 and follow God’s instructions. One by one as you pray, erase your burdens and list them on His side of the paper beside a promise.
All your heartache and circumstances won’t disappear when you pray, but the burden of them, the weight that’s too heavy, will rest on His shoulders. Your heavenly Father is bearing them with you and for you.
Take a deep breath, my friend. Thank God for His hug of relief. Smile. Yes, smile even when burdens feel heavy because you won’t bear them alone.
With our Burden-Bearer beside us, let’s settle into our campsite for the day and rest in His promises. “He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].”
How does remembering God’s strength and 1 Peter 5:7 help you release burdens? I look forward to your comments.
A related post: https://www.jeanniewaters.com/blog/the-answer-to-anxiety-is-on-the-table/
24 thoughts on “Follow Two Biblical Steps to Lighten Your Backpack of Cares”
Thank you so much for this inspiring message. 🙂 Have a blessed week! 🙂
I’m glad God used the post to inspire you, Melissa. I felt the same when I studied this passage.I hope your week is filled with blessings.
I love your description of God as our “burden-bearer.” That is another perfect name for our Mighty God. Thanks Jeannie.
I agree, Yvonne. Thank you for reading and commenting.
I needed your message this week, Jeannie. Thank you! The load has been heavy. Thank you also for the smile. I confess, I would have laughed at my brother, too. I’m sure this has been a topic that has been discussed when the family gathers together. Some good memories!
Katherine, I’m sorry your load has been heavy. I’ve let anxiety have the upper hand in recent days. I think that’s why God led me to this passage. I enjoyed smiling again about my brother’s backpack. I can still see him lying there like a turtle with only his heels and the backpack touching the floor. 🙂 I thought it was a good picture of me when I let burdens weigh me down. I’m glad the post was a blessing to you.
I’m a little loaded down too. Thanks Jeannie!
I’ll pray for you, Sylvia. A full plate is challenging. I’m reminding myself of the verses in the post. Thank you for reading and commenting.
This is such a good, practical way of focusing on who God is and what He’s done in our lives. Thank you! ♥️
Stacey, I like the way you said, “Focusing on who God is and what He’s done in our lives.” What a wonderful way to remember to trust Him. I appreciate your comments.
So much to appreciate about this post Ms. Jeannie. I couldn’t help but think back to my military days many years ago when they would weigh our ruck sacks. If we got caught “cheating” by trying to carry a lighter load than expected (they knew what everything was supposed to weigh), then we were penalized by having to carry a much heavier load (they filled our ruck sacks [a backpack if you will] with rocks!). Other thoughts were how important it is for more mature Christians to come alongside and help new Christians learn to pack for the journey. Of course, scripture that reminds us to take on Jesus’ yoke helps us in not only carrying our load, but guides and trains us in how best to do so. Great post ma’am. Let us not carry more than we need.
Thank you for adding a military perspective, J.D. , as well as the reminder Christian’s have the honor and responsibility of helping brothers and sisters in Christ carry their burdens.
I needed this! “Sometimes as adults we carry around more weight than necessary and allow burdens to rob us of joy.” You couldn’t be more right. Thank you for reminding me to give my burdens to God. The weight of circumstances can deplete our joy and strength- if we carry our burdens alone. He is faithful and able to get us through whatever trials we are facing. Thank you, Jeannie, for this encouraging post.
I agree, Dawn, that when we expend energy on burdens we don’t need to carry, our supply of joy and strength are depleted. I’m glad the post encouraged you. The passage spoke to me.
Thank you for your post, Jeannie. I love the idea of writing a promise from God next to each burden we have. That can bring hope and strength for a new day.
I’m glad you liked the idea, Katy. That process reminds me of God’s promises and calms my heart.
Your journal tip is excellent–reminiscient of listing blessings in one column and non-blessings in an opposite column. Determine which column is the longest, then pray about the non-blessings. I sometimes find my non-blessings are actually blessings in disguise.
Peggy, I love your idea to list blessings and what we think of as “non-blessings.” I agree that “non-blessings are sometimes blessings in disguise.” What a great way to look at challenges and turn them into prayer requests. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful idea.
“God designed us to depend on His strength, not our own. He planned to bear our burdens before we knew they existed.” This is a very comforting statement. There is nothing that we experience that isn’t filtered through his hands and he loves us!
No matter how blindsided we feel by circumstances that come our way, God is not ignorant of what comes our way.
Love the idea of listing things on two sides of a page and moving them to God’s side once we’ve prayed.
Terri, thank you for the powerful reminder that God is not blindsided when we are. He’s looking at the situations we face with foreknowledge, wisdom, and compassion. As you said, everything is filtered through His hands. What a comforting truth. I’m thankful you found a comforting statement and practical tip to help you in this post.
This is a lesson I keep trying to learn. Thanks for the reminders and suggestions for making self-humility and casting an ongoing practice.
I’m still learning, too, Candyce. Aren’t we thankful God is patient with us and continues to allow circumstances to strengthen our faith? Thank you so much for letting me know the post was a blessing to you. It served as a good lesson for me.
Super story with so many insights for each of us! Thank you, Jeannie!
Thank you, Kathy. I can still picture my little brother falling backward from the backpack’s weight. I’m just as unsteady as he was when I overload my mind and heart with more than God intends. Wearing the yoke beside Him is a much more comfortable place to be when navigating a day.