Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Think of the backpack as a metaphor for the heart. All of us carry burdens throughout our journey in life. There is great comfort in knowing no earthly burden of ours is too heavy for God and that God can lighten our load.
“…the blessing of facing these circumstances is that they provide an opportunity for us to let go of our need for control and desire to earn God’s acceptance, and instead trust that God is greater than the most hopeless circumstance and rebellious heart. Life’s trials can become turning points that take us from being moms who strive for control and perfection, to moms who confidently and freely trust in God’s control, promises, forgiveness, goodness, faithfulness, and redemption.” – Sarah Walton
Lightening the Load
by Francis Dorff
The first thing we have to do
is to notice
that we’ve loaded down this camel
with so much baggage
we’ll never get through the desert alive.
Something has to go.
Then we can begin to dump
the thousand things
we’ve brought along
until even the camel has to go
and we’re walking barefoot
on the desert sand.
There’s no telling what will happen then.
But I’ve heard that someone,
walking in this way,
has seen a burning bush.
Theme Elements From “Resting On the Rock”
He leads as a King – 1 Chronicles 29:11-12, Psalm 103:19, Psalm 47:6-7, Psalm 93:1
He gathers us as the good shepherd – John 10:2-5
Don’t be led by the things of this world,
but learn to hear the Holy Spirit so that you can be led by the Father.
He brings focus and meaning. – Isaiah 26:3-4
He brings us rest. – Psalm 95
He declares judgments and shows compassion and encouragement to trust Him. – Numbers 14:11
He brings us wisdom, counsel and understanding – Job 12:13
He has perfect wisdom. Study His Word to know Him more.
He gives healing and salvation. – Hosea 11:4, Exodus 15:26, Psalm 147:2, Jeremiah 17:14, Psalm 41:3
He is our hope. He is our healing balm. He knows what is best for us.
He lives in fellowship with us. – John 15:4-5, 17:21-23, Romans 8:1, 1 John 1:3, Hebrews 3:12–14 , Acts 2:42
We enjoy Him and His Body forever.
Skit Lovers Opportunity
Scene: Campers lost in the wilderness. Each one has a backpack filled with “tools” (things or relationships that point us to the Lord) and “weights”(things that weigh us down).
When wandering through the wilderness, no one can carry everything. All of us need the same basic load.
But the lord gives to each of unique provisions for the benefit of the Body. When soldiers go to the field, some carry the radio, one carries a gun, one carries the cooking utensils, etc.
What are some of the things that God requires each of us to carry and what are some of the things he has uniquely provided for others’ benefit?
Camper 1 has a backpack filled with things that lead us. – A Map, A Compass, A Guide Book
Camper 2 has a backpack filled with things that shed light or focus. – Flashlight, Pair of Glasses, Binoculars, Magnifying Glass, Telescope
Camper 3 has a backpack filled things that soothe or heal. – Lotion, Essential oils, Triple Antibiotic Ointment, Benedril Spray
Camper 4 has a backpack filled with things needed for fellowship. – Hymn book, Pots and pans, Coffee cup, Diary, Trail Mix, Bread and wine
Take the “backpack” truths and frame them to remind you not to wander but rest in who He is.
You can download these or make your own.
A SPIRITUAL COLLAGE
A great way to prayerfully sort your feelings and thoughts at a particular life transition or stress point is to get out a stack of magazines and clip out words and pictures to form a collage. If you did a collage for each of the key periods in your life you could tell your spiritual story.
SPIRITUAL HEALTH ASSESSMENT
Take the SPIRITUAL HEALTH ASSESSMENT – Loving God | Loving Others | Living Missionally
The assessment is designed to give you a snapshot of your spiritual health and pinpoint areas that may be out of balance. It focuses on three aspects of spiritual health—Loving God, Loving Others and Living Missionally.
From the assessment, the table suggests a beginning step (crawl), an intermediate step (walk), and a more advanced step (run) for each
statement in the assessment. Pick the step or steps you want to take in the next 30 days. It’s a wealth of information and you could easily create different stations from these topics.
Take a Spiritual Gifts Assessment test. Invite a Chaplain to talk about being individually and collectively gifted to honor the Lord and for each others’ benefit. Knowing your gift and strengths can help you focus on the ways you can be helpful to other believers. Romans 12:7-8 says, “if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Every member of the body is needed, every member plays an important role, every member is significant. – Thomas Schreiner
**A Quick search revealed a few spiritual gifts tests online. This is not an endorsement. Do your research and discern if these and others are good tests.
**Something to remember: without being involved in the life of the local church or chapel, spiritual gift inventories are artificial and can even be misleading. If you get involved in the lives of others in your church and love as Jesus commanded, then you will discover your gift.
Purchase or have other ladies purchase memo books or diaries. Have colored paper, scissors, glue, and markers to decorate them. Challenge the ladies at the beginning of the year to start a Wilderness Journal. Each day, week, or month is a journey in the life of a believer. God is working in our lives always. We get so focused on many things that we don’t notice Him working. We get lost in our perceived failures. Taking the time to look at our lives and examine what He’s really doing will help us to walk more intimately with Him from day to day.
Ladies could share some of their entries in the journals at the end of the year to encourage others in their growth.