Our shoulders can carry a lot of weight. Most of the time it is weight that can’t be seen. It comes from worries, burdens or anxiety that we carry. Even though it is invisible, we feel the pressure. Our muscles get tense and tight. You may be the single parent or widow trying to raise your child or children alone. You may be a coworker with more responsibilities than one person should ever have. You may be a caregiver taking on the emotional and physical needs of someone else. You may just be the type of person who worries about the future in this world that we live. Our shoulders can become so heavy that we start to feel the physical pain. I am currently diagnosed with a “frozen shoulder.” It is truly the most painful thing I have ever had and prevents me from lifting and doing a lot of daily things that I used to take for granted.
Shoulders can be used to carry others and to help others. I remember when Hannah was little, she was almost too big for me to carry her in my arms. I could still carry her on my shoulders to give her little legs a break. Her weight was balanced on my shoulders and I could carry her a little further that way. However, my shoulders were never as good as daddy’s shoulders. Daddy’s shoulders could carry her so much higher and he was so much stronger than I was. Therefore, Daddy could carry her longer, she could see over crowds and she had time to rest.
Our heavenly Father carries all of us on His shoulders. He is our rest and our rescue. He takes all of our burdens, worries, fears and troubles and carries them on His shoulders. It is like that small child that can’t take another step. He lifts us up and puts us on His shoulders where we can see things clearer. We just have to get to the point when we acknowledge that we can’t take another step on our own.
For me, I struggle frequently with anxiety and worry. As the single mom, young widow and only financial provider, I worry about how I can raise my child so that she has what she needs. My shoulders weren’t as strong as her daddy’s shoulders. I can’t raise her above the crowds when they close in on us. Now I know the reality is that she is a teenager and won’t literally be on my shoulders. Metaphorically speaking, those thoughts are still there. I carry so many burdens upon my shoulders and I have to constantly remind myself that God already carries me and every single thing. All He asks me to do is to put my arms up to Him. I can’t do it on my own. The burdens might not go away and the world is going to keep having problems but when I know that I can ask God to help me, He will give me the rest I need to ease the weight on my shoulders.
“May the beloved of the LORD dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28