What’s going on in your life today?

Do you have a busy day? Light day? Are you working from home still? Do you have a project in front of you? Are you overwhelmed with work or worries?

No matter the answer to the questions above or what’s going on in our lives, we long for the Lord to guide us and bless us. But how can we know that the Lord is guiding our steps and establishing our path?

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.

Psalm 37:5

Commit your work to the Lord,
    and your plans will be established.

Proverbs 16:3

The word “commit” in these two verses means “to roll upon.” It carries the notion of rolling onto or rolling away. In order to experience the Lord acting for us (through us) and establishing our plans, we need to “commit” or “roll” our situations, decisions, and work upon him. The image is a vibrant picture of trust. Instead of relying on our own energy, wisdom, or goodness, we actively trust the Lord when we roll our situation upon him to handle.

There are lessons to be gained from these verses.

  • Committing our way/work to the Lord means that we leave our burdens and worries with him. Too often, we pray about something, leave it with the Lord, and then when we get off our knees, we pick our burden, worry, or situation right back up. Many of us have a hard time letting God be in control. But if the Lord can strengthen Moses to lead Israel out of slavery in Egypt, empower David to kill Goliath and become king, encourage Jeremiah to prophesy faithfully to a people who ignored him, and enable Jesus’ followers to take the message of the gospel to the world, then he can most certainly handle your burden. He is able to strengthen you, establish you, and carry the weight you think you must carry. It’s time to roll your burden onto the Lord.
  • Committing your way/work to the Lord means rolling them “away” to the Lord. Have you ever tried to push something heavy up a hill? The Greek myth of Sisyphus who was forced to roll a boulder up a hill for eternity is sometimes a bit too personal for us. We like to think we are able. So we strive and strain to be in control, to get that burden up that hill, to accomplish that feat. And like Sisyphus, all too often we end up defeated and discouraged. Stop trying to do the impossible. It’s time for you to roll away your burden onto the Lord.
  • Committing your way/work to the Lord does not mean that you stop working. Let’s be clear here. We still have a job to do, a task to accomplish, or a project to finish. We remain responsible to work diligently. But we are not to carry the weight of something that is beyond us. We are finite and cannot do everything. So be faithful and hard-working, but commit the results and weight of your responsibilities to the Lord. Here’s an example in my own life. I get to preach weekly. It is a privilege to study, prepare, pray, and deliver sermons. This takes work that God is not going to do for me. But the burden of the results of preaching and the effect of God’s Word in the lives of others is not my responsibility. There have been times I’ve tried to carry God’s burden for the effect of preaching. It has not been a successful endeavor. It’s time for you to go to work and to roll the results and effects on the Lord.
  • Committing your way/work to the Lord means that what we model is what we’ll replicate in others. I believe there’s a hidden lesson in Psalm 37:5 and Proverbs 16:3. David wrote Psalm 37, and his son Solomon wrote Proverbs 16:3. The word “commit” is exactly the same in both passages and the lesson is almost exactly the same. Don’t you think Solomon learned the lesson of Proverbs 16:3 from his father? I think it is very likely. Whatever you’re dealing with, whatever you’re responsibility, whatever your burden, someone is watching. Your spouse, children, co-workers, neighbors, or grandchildren are watching. Will they see you stressed and angry? Burned out and frustrated? Or will they see you “commit” your way and work to the Lord. It’s time for you to roll your life and choices on the Lord.

It’s time for me to roll my work and ways on the Lord. Today, before I do anything else, I’m going to spend some time committing my day and circumstances to the Lord. Maybe you need to do that as well.

So pause.

Take a moment to list out the weights and burdens of life and work that you are carrying.

Then pray.

And with each burden and weight, commit it to the Lord.

Then leave your burdens with him.

I wonder if you would do me a favor after reading this? Will you pray for someone else that you know who is weighed down by their own burdens? Pray that they will be able to commit their day, work, circumstances, decisions, and stresses to the Lord. And if the Lord impresses it upon you, reach out to that person or persons you are praying for with a word of encouragement or an offer to help.

Sometimes, pastoral ministry flows along at a comfortable pace. Sometimes, I get in good reading and study rhythms, healthy prayer rhythms, and regular leadership and ministry rhythms. But at other times, the needs and concerns in our church family can be many.

In the last couple of weeks at our church, we’ve had several deaths, a stroke, family and friends with severe covid cases, emergency surgeries, scheduled surgeries, family members moved to hospice care, both unexpected and expected hospital stays, individuals with multiple surgeries, and numerous other burdens too sensitive to mention.

Just this morning, I messaged more than 10 people in our congregation who are going through specific, ongoing challenges in their lives or the lives of family members.

Just this morning, as I was writing this post, a fellow pastor called. He and his church are dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak at his church. We talked through the challenges this situation provides.

Sometimes, the weight of what we are dealing with and the burdens of others can be overwhelming. We need help.

The good thing is that when we need help, God is ever-present to provide.

In my quiet time this week, I read Psalm 9. It is a chapter referencing God’s deeds, his deeds of wonder and of judgment. Two verses struck me powerfully.

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 9:9-10

Somebody reading this needs to remember that the Lord is with you in times of trouble. A stronghold is a place of protection and defense. It is armed and defended not by human armies or powers, but by the Lord himself. Go to the Lord.

Somebody reading this needs to put their trust in the Lord. Certainly, if you are not yet a follower of Jesus, I would commend you to saving faith. Trust in the Lord Jesus alone and you will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). But saving faith is the foundation for living faith. Follower of Jesus, continue to trust in the Lord. If you know him by name, count on him. Take your burdens to him. Pray to him.

Somebody reading this needs to know that you are not forsaken. At times, our situations and burdens make us feel helpless. They are overwhelming, discouraging, and disconcerting. If we look too long at our difficulties, we will despair. But God has not left you. He will not forsake you. Seek him.

As Peter cried to the Lord when he was sinking in the Sea of Galilee, cry to the Lord from the sea of your circumstances. Know that he hears. Remember that he is there.

He does hear us.

In the midst of the difficulties of this week, God has answered many of the prayers and burdens above. The Lord gave abounding grace in an emergency surgery answering our prayers that the surgery went even better than expected. The Lord gave strength and provision to folks facing disheartening difficulties. The Lord gave encouragement through the truths of his Word as testified by some of these we’ve been praying for. And the Lord answered prayers and brought very sick folks home from Covid hospitalizations.

So, trust in the Lord.

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash