Giving Jesus our burdens

Written by Elizabeth Spencer
Published on July 21, 2023

Talking with my sister the other day, she told me her teenage daughters (the two older of her four children) had both been crying the previous day after school.

One was upset over friend problems. The other was upset over algebra problems. My sister said she’d helped them through as much as she could, offering understanding, sympathy, and suggestions for going forward. (For the record, she said she could not offer help on algebra beyond, “Can you ask your teacher before school tomorrow?”)

Later that night, when my brother-in-law got home, he commented that my sister looked tired. (I assume he meant “more tired than usual.”) She told him, “It’s been a really hard day here.” 

After she filled him in on the backstory, he said, “I just talked to both girls, and I wouldn’t have known anything was wrong.” Then he said something pretty profound: “That’s because you took their burdens on yourself.”

Carrying our children’s hurts

Oh, Mama, isn’t this what we do? We lift loads off our children’s minds and hearts, and by God’s grace, we do it so well so much of the time and our children trust us so completely they can then, in many cases, be freed of those weights. They go on with no indication there ever was a burden in the first place.

This is our high calling and privilege, and usually we are glad if we can take a burden on ourselves and lighten the load for our children. It is not always possible or a good idea, but when it is possible and when it does good and not harm, we want to do it.

Yet, what lightens our children can weigh on us. What lifts them can push us down. What energizes them can fatigue us. What refuels them can drain us.

We keep adding to this load that stoops us over until we are barely trudging along. If we don’t do something to lighten our load, we eventually fall over.

This is when we need to hear the voice of Jesus, our burden-bearer.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT).

Come to me, all you mamas who are carrying your children’s worries.

Come to me, all you mamas who are carrying your children’s fears.

Come to me, all you mamas who are carrying your children’s hurts.

Come to me, all you mamas who are carrying your children’s pasts, present, and futures.

Come to me. Bring it all to me. Take my yoke on you. Let me bear the weight while you walk alongside me.

Turn your mind to face my direction. Speak my name. Pray my prayers. Cry out to me. Drink in my words. Meditate on my truth. Sing my songs. Study my lessons. Lean on my Body.

Unclench your fists and let go of what you’re grasping tightly so your hands are free to hold my peace.

Jesus carries our burdens

Sweet Mama, you take your children’s burdens on yourself so they find rest for their souls. It is a beautiful, transforming thing. Others see them walking along, chasing their hopes and dreams, but they have no idea there ever was a burden in the first place.

You long to do this for your children. You love them and want their load lightened. “Let me carry it,” you tell them. Beg them, sometimes.

But do you see it? This is how Jesus feels toward you. What you want from and for your children, Jesus wants for you.

He sees you struggling under the weight of your love-bound load and beckons, “Bring me your children’s burdens and your own too. Give me what you’re carrying. Find rest for your soul. You only need to hold the burden I give you. And it will be the lightest, most beautiful burden you’ll ever know.”

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Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth Spencer has been married for 28 years to an exceedingly patient husband and is mom to two young adult daughters who regularly dispense love, affection, and honest fashion advice. She writes about faith, food, and family (with some occasional funny thrown in) at Guilty Chocoholic Mama and also on various online sites including She is the author of the devotional book Known By His Names: A 365-Day Journey From The Beginning to The Amen, available on Amazon. She can be reached by email at

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