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5 Spiritual Disciplines to Lighten Your Load
Jul 02 2020
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There have been many days in the last few months that have felt as though I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I have felt weighed down by all of the things I was seeing and hearing. It is beyond overwhelming most days.
Heaviness. That's the feeling we are carrying.
My heart aches as I even begin to fully process what 2020 has thrown at us and will continue to throw our way. How do we handle it all in the right now? How do we attempt to lighten the heaviness that we are carrying around with us?
The reality is that we can never bear this burden by ourselves. We aren’t that powerful. No one is immune to the ache of the beating this world can unleash. No one is immune to dark and hard days that try to tangle us up. No one is immune to health issues, grief, financial trouble, job loss, the list could go on infinitely.
Trouble in this life is a surety that we can count on. How we respond to it will reflect what we believe to be true.
Some spiritual disciplines can aid us in walking through heavy seasons like the one we find ourselves in. They are not a prescription to perfection, but like all spiritual disciplines, they are meant to steady us, and put our eyes on the focal point: Jesus.
When we fix our minds on Christ, we can rest in His presence and strength rather than our own.
2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul tells them that our weakness is where God is the strongest. When we are weak, we acknowledge that we cannot do this on our own. It grants God the room to step in, to be strength where we have none.
It sounds simple, I know. But one of the greatest spiritual disciplines we need to master is prayer. Praying Scripture, emptying our hearts of its burdens, asking for help and strength, praying for others. All of these things will help us hand over the ache of our hearts to God rather than trying to keep ahold of it all for ourselves.
Create a prayer journal where you can keep your prayers written down and see the progress of what God is teaching you, revealing to you, or answering. The power of prayer isn’t that the stronger they are the easier they will change the mind of God. No, prayer is to change us. To align our hearts with God, who knows what we need better than we ever will.
2. Memorize Scripture
This is a discipline that goes overlooked too often. It is one that we need to be using daily. The action of memorizing Scripture keeps our minds focused on the power of God’s word in our life.
Maybe anxiety or worry is a great struggle in your daily life. Memorizing verses like Philippians 4:6-7 can benefit as a constant reminder to turn our anxious thoughts into thankful thoughts.
Scripture memorization can look like keeping an index card with your verse on it around the house where you see it and read it often. I have seen people write the first letter of each word in the verse on their hand as a reminder of what they are working on memorizing. There are many ways to do it. Pick a verse a week or month to work through.
3. Bible Study
The practice of daily Bible study, specifically as a means of starting off your day is a beautiful and simple practice that puts God’s words into your heart before the world has a chance to say anything.
Before you pick up the phone or interact with others, open your Bible. Whether it be ten or fifteen minutes as soon as you wake up, or longer. Give God the offering of the first fruits of your day. Make His words the first thing you want to consume each morning. It will be fuel to step outside and face the day. It will drive how you interact with others.
The practice of journaling may sound daunting, but there is great freedom to be found in pouring out what is in our hearts and minds onto paper. We can empty our worries and pains. We can write out the wonderful things we know to be true of God. We can process the things that are going on in our lives.
I have found great comfort in keeping a journal and writing how God is working in my life and in the lives of my friends and family. I write out the things that seek to take up space in my mind and cause me to worry. I keep track of the things that I am thankful for and how God has blessed me. Journaling is a tactile reminder that God is still working and taking care of our every need.
Fellowship with other believers is a discipline we all need right now. In a world that is overly connected, most people have never felt more alone. We have to find ways to remain connected in fellowship. Whether through regular text, phone calls, video chat, small in-person gatherings, or even heading back to church when the doors open.
We need each other.
We need to laugh together, connect, and be seen. It matters. Fellowship is a lifeline that God so graciously gave as the reminder that we do not walk alone. It is community that keeps us afloat when life gets hard and overwhelming.
When the world feels heavy, and life feels daunting, we need to ask ourselves, “what spiritual disciplines do I need to be doing to help me be strengthened.” What will help hand over the heaviness that is weighing me down? Each discipline is a gift, not something to be checked off a list of requirements to make us better Christians, but just the opposite, to grant freedom.
Michelle Rabon is a wife and homeschooling mom of three who feels called to help women thrive in their walk with Jesus every day. In 2012, she started Displaying Grace, a ministry that is focused on helping women engage with God’s Word. Michelle has also served in women’s ministry for the past five years seeking to equip women in the local church through Bible study. When she is not writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, being close to the ocean, and drinking a lot of coffee.
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