Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. -Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

A coworker gave me the above verse in a sympathy card for my father’s passing. It’s one that everyone knows–even nonbelievers–but one we often can say yes to in our heads, but not our hearts.

The burdens on our hearts and souls are many. It might be the passing of a loved one. It could be a terrible, tense situation that is unresolved. It could be physical illness. It could be worry about the present or the future. It could be self-flagellation over events of the past. It could be loneliness, depression, or the grip of addiction.

No matter what our burdens, when we are crushed underneath them as if they were a knapsack full of bricks, He can take all of them from us. The weight comes from wanting control to effect a different present and future outcome. The weight is the opposite of the lightness of the yoke Jesus offers us.

When we shoulder such burdens, the weight will push our hearts’ perspective downward. But when we truly pray to surrender each and every burden to Him in faith and obedience, unloading each stone from our back, we can arise with His feather-light yoke and look upward at Him again. The weight is lifted in faith: faith in His plans for us; faith that we endure for a reason; and faith that He is good, all the time.

The above verse is the first of three verses that end the eleventh chapter of Matthew:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

On your knees, in the physical and spiritual sense, prostrate yourself before Him and cry it all out to Him. He knows your every thought and hope and dream and care. Give it all up to Him, and tell Him you trust Him with all of it. Put it all down at His feet in prayer, and He will give you strength and peace that surpasses all understanding.

We can only climb so high under the weight of the world. Give them to Jesus so we can continue the upward climb, eyes on Him.