A few months ago, I was at the gym waiting for my exercise class to begin. I turned to the right, and I noticed a man bench-pressing very heavy weights. Using a palm grip, the man grasped the cold, metal bar firmly. His upper back was on the bench for stability. And the man’s feet were firmly planted on the ground. Benching probably 250 pounds, the man was pushing the heavy weight upward, again and again.
After about the tenth rep, with his elbows tucked in to his side, I saw that the man was beginning to struggle to lift the heavy bar of weights in the air. He made attempt after attempt. Yet, he couldn’t lift it anymore.
Seconds passed, and a trainer saw the man struggling. Swiftly, the trainer scurried over to the man. He put his hands on the bar and helped the man with the heavy burden. With a sigh of relief, the burden was completely taken off of the man’s shoulders.
Are you burdened with worry? Have you been weighed down with feelings of uncertainty or hopelessness? Or, you might be overwhelmed by the prolonged stress, extreme anxiety, and all you have been carrying alone.
We all face things in life that causes us to struggle. But just as the trainer helped to lift the heavy weight off of the man and the burden was taken off of his shoulders, you do not have to shoulder your difficulties on your own. God is there, right now, to help lift the weight off of you. For you were never meant to handle everything on your own.
Scripture says, “Turn your burdens over to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will never let the righteous person stumble” (Psalm 55:22). For God says that if you do this, that His peace, that surpasses all understanding, will flood your mind as you put your trust in Him (Philippians 4:7). It is promised that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God” (Romans 8:28). Regardless of unprecedented times, mistakes, or if we get off course, God turns everything around and gets us back on track, so we can fulfill His plan for our lives.
Hence, form a picture in your mind of yourself shifting your burdens to God. Hand them over to Him. Let God handle them. When you release your apprehensions, fears and burdens to God, you can make room for new dreams, new joys, and new blessing to fill your future.
Awhile back, while in a local department store, I noticed the cashiers wore bright yellow-colored T-shirts. On the back of the shirt it read: “I’m here to help you.” That’s what God is saying to you today, “Look to me ... I’m here to help you.” There are good days up ahead.
So look to make the very best of your situation and be grateful for your blessings instead of focusing on what you may not have at the moment. Establishing the habit of gratitude is one of the keys to contentment. With true appreciation, you will be enlightened. You’ll be able to live in the current moment and be thankful for all of the amazing things that make your life worth living.
Once, a friend of mine told me this little story that has stuck with me. One afternoon at a doctor’s appointment, her doctor moved her large purse to another chair and remarked how heavy it was. “You must be very rich,” the doctor said to her. “I am,” my friend uttered, smiling.
My friend lives modestly. They don’t dine out and eat lavish meals. She doesn’t shop at the finest department stores or travel the world. Her career was filled with setbacks. And many people unfairly hurt her. Yet, my friend genuinely considers herself rich because she has a strong faith in God, good health, a loving partner, children and friends whom she adores.
Thus, let’s start taking the time each day to appreciate everything we have in our lives. Let’s talk about our blessings more than we converse about our worries.
Then, all through the day, say, “Thank you, God, for all you have given to me. Thank you for my health. Thank you for my family and friends. Thank you for how far You have brought me already.” And, next, thank Him for all the love, joy and victory He is planning on your behalf. The more grateful you are and the more you help other people, the more goodness you will attract into your life.
One idea to get yourself in a place of thankfulness is to create a “Gratitude Journal.” Keep a notepad and pen on your nightstand. Before bedtime, and on a regular basis, record two or three things for which you are grateful. Write about whatever was good and right for that particular day. Then, thank God for each blessing. After a while, you might begin to include in your “gratitude journal” things that perhaps you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed. Here’s a great tip: Whenever you are feeling anxious or upset, read over your journal for a great pick-me-up. By recounting all that God has done for you, you’ll discover there is more to be thankful for than you realize.
I’d like to encourage you to look around this week. Think about your blessings — past and present — write about them, and verbalize your thanks and appreciation to God and others. Don’t ever get tired of thanking God for His goodness. Praise Him consistently in all situations. And tell other people what God has done; the miracles, the favor, His protection.
As you do, God will bestow His blessings in even greater portions. Get ready. God is going to surpass anything that you’ve seen before. There are good days up ahead!