DAY #10

Matthew 11:28-30

Momma said not to pick up the baby bird she’d rescued from the cat. She had tucked it into a box in its little nest. But curiosity got the better of my five-year-old mind, and I snuck in to hold the tiny, featherless creature. Suddenly, the unthinkable. I dropped it. Carefully picking it up and replacing it in its nest, I prayed for a miracle, only to see momma a few hours later holding a dead baby bird. 

I never confessed. 

Fraternal twins guilt and shame tend to hang out together, with slightly different influences. Guilt pertains to feelings of remorse for things we do; shame is regretting who we are. Guilt says, “I did badly.” Shame says, “I AM bad.” Research shows that people with guilt responses to wrongdoing are healthier and less narcissistic than people with shame reactions. They also tend to repeat the behavior less. Think about it: If you ARE bad, how can you do anything BUT bad? 

Those of us who want to take reasonable moral responsibility, but not become overwhelmed, say, “Guilt is okay, but shame is bad.” Things get tricky here. Some conscientious types, after disallowing shame, will still feel it. Then they become ashamed about being ashamed! Emotions are notoriously uncooperative. Willing them away doesn’t work well. 

Here’s how to break that cycle: Think process, not product. In other words, don’t concern yourself with whether or not you feel or have shame. Concern yourself with what to do with it. Shame will come. We broken, sinful human beings will at times feel ashamed of our condition. What process to follow when feeling, “I am bad”? Take those feelings of shame to Jesus and let Him carry them. They weigh but a feather compared to the load He bore to the Cross. He will gladly lift them from you, giving you a new sense of self anchored in Him. 

Recall the feelings of shame you’ve carried. Imagine them as a heavy burden upon your back. See yourself trudging along, becoming more and more exhausted. Imagine yourself nearly falling. 

Then imagine Jesus standing before you with His arms open wide. Imagine His kind eyes. Imagine Him lifting the heavy burden from you. Then see Him placing a light burden upon you, His yoke of service. You breathe a sigh of relief. 

Fix in your mind three people you can serve today. How can you, though some small act, lift the burden off weary shoulders? 

Dear Rest-Giver, thank you for lifting the heavy burden of shame from our shoulders. Lead us to be burden-lifters through acts of service woven into our everyday lives. When we start bearing our own shame, remind us where we can find rest. We pray in the name of Jesus, amen. 

“Come to Me, all you 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.” Matthew 11:28-30

65 thoughts on “DAY #10

  1. Valerie

    I always need to be reminded to leave my burdens at Jesus’ feet. I want to trust Him to take care of the big and small and medium details of my life, as well as all the selfishness and shame inside. I’m so thankful He’s promised.

  2. Daniel Parsons

    Biggest burden is my self-righteous behavior. Dear Jesus, please heal my mental health challenges. Take away the ego and pride. Take away the self-absorbed & selfish nature, In Jesus name, Amen.

  3. Mel

    Early in my Christian journey when I would pray I’d have a visual of myself in a boat that was sinking because of everything I was trying to juggle and was worrying about. I saw that Jesus was in a nearby boat and I had to pass everything to him, even the good things if I didn’t want my boat to sink. Lately I’m seeing that the heaviest burdens in my boat are my twisted thoughts and habitual ways of thinking about myself, how I deal with situations and what others think of me and the shame I feel for not being all I think I should be. Sadly it seems harder for me to give these up than any other burden, because I don’t see them as burdens I need to give up. I find it so challenging to see when my thoughts aren’t in line with Gods, I’m praying it will become easier and that I’ll see them as the burdens they are and be willing to give them up.

  4. Nicky Dube

    I would like to leave all of my burdens at Jesus’ feet but especially the p pressure to appear as a perfect mom. During the meditation I imagined my burden being lifted by Christ and a feather replacing it. Oh how I wish that was my true experience.

    1. Bonnie

      I like that picture of the feather replacing the burdens we bare. I would like that to be true for me too. Thanks for sharing!


      As an older mom of two teen girls, I resonate with this so much. I want to let go of my burden. I love the image of the feather. Thank you!

  5. Katrina

    Hi Everyone
    Not sure why I wasn’t able to join earlier but, I’m thankful it’s working now.
    I’m a wife and mom and I want to leave all my burdens at the feet of Jesus, because when I trust in Him I experience His peace and joy. He is my only hope and help. My all in all!

  6. Amy

    I want to leave all my mixed up feelings of shame and inadequacy. Of trying to be somebody. Intrusive thoughts plague me but I don’t really know how to set them down. Jesus, help me.

    1. Jennifer Schwirzer

      I think faith is a big part of this. All those emotions are just . . . emotions, but they’re not reflective of the truth of who you are. Accepting by faith who God says we are requires we kind of lose faith in our emotions.

      1. Shirley Mann

        I don’t think it is something you can give away! Too bad! I do know that I have friends who notice that I am smiling most of the time and I hope that helps them to be happier too.

  7. Bonnie

    I am so glad that Jesus offers rest for our souls. The pressures that we face each day can seem so overwhelming. My heart breaks for the times that I have not handled things as good as I feel like I should have. This is a good reminder that I don’t have to carry that burden. I just need to be connected to Jesus and let Him take these burdens and ask Him to give me the strength to serve Him. It’s about Him, not me.

  8. Monica

    Thank God that we don’t have to bear our burdens alone. Jesus takes our burdens and makes our hearts light when we surrender everything to Him. <3

  9. Sharon

    Everything, really. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

    I think the biggest ones for me right now are the ones that I have such a hard time separating from my identity and very existence: my shame, seemingly constant failures, and inability to make even the smallest of decisions without knowing exactly which choice is the “right” one and what the entire outcome will be. Without these, I don’t know who I am. And what do I replace them with? I know when Jesus looks at me, He sees me as I will be when fully healed and restored to His image, but I have no clue what that might possibly look like. When I try to visualize myself as anything other than what I am now, I come up with nothing. And I have a really hard time giving that to God, because I’m afraid I still wouldn’t fully exist. I know that isn’t true, at least on a superficial level, but getting that knowledge to penetrate every fiber of my being, especially when I cannot even begin to see the other side, and giving up the only me I’ve ever known, is a terrifying prospect.

    1. Jennifer Schwirzer

      I think we get into identity in future meditations. God sees who you will be when He’s done growing you into His image. Your job is to believe that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

  10. cree

    thank you for this meditation.
    made me think… would I rather carry my burden or others’ burden?
    for me it’s the latter. For some reason my burden is heavier than others and I thank God He doesn’t mind taking it from me –He wants to carry it for me.

    is this where “we were made in His image” comes in?
    i’m not sure if this is what most of us would prefer–
    to carry others’ burdens rather than our own…?
    if so, maybe it is because that’s how we are wired–after His image.

    i see it in the way parents are so willing to take their children’s burdens.
    and how they would wish to have their children’s struggles so that they won’t have to deal with it.

    i see it in the way a lover “reaches for the moon” so that the other would not have to deal with discomfort or difficulty.

    i see it in how being able to help others makes us feel good and even happy.

    unfortunately, we sometimes use that trait in unhealthy ways. but the desire to be a burden-lifter is there, i think.

    anyway, just sharing a thought.

    but most importantly, i am grateful for the One who is never burdened to take ALL our burdens! <3 God is just so great.

    1. Cheryl

      Cree, you already carried others burdens today-mine. I am so grateful for you! I can see how God is using you to minister to others. Thank you 😊

  11. Jane

    The burden I’d like to hand to Jesus is the heavy feelings of failure when I’m unable to stop people from hurting the people around them. I want Jesus to speak truth into this situation.

  12. Cheryl

    I desire to lay down my heavy burdens and have His rest. I want to be gentle and lowly in heart like Jesus. Thank you Father God for the desire to want to be like Jesus. It’s a new thought for me. I can be like Jesus? I’ve been clinging to me and my thoughts and ways instead of clinging to Him. I’ve been afraid to let go of the miserable me because I can’t see who I will become in Jesus.

  13. Ann Marie

    I want to believe that what God sees when He looks at me is different than what the accusatory voices in my life say they see. I want Him to be enough for me.

  14. Megan

    Oh, I needed this message today. Thank you. Lately, I’ve felt the burden of seemingly every past mistake, all snowballed into one huge, shame-saturated lump of ‘not good enough’. It has been weighing me down terribly. What a saving grace, to hand that over to Jesus.

    1. Jennifer Schwirzer

      No one is good but God alone. The news is even better than you being good enough, it’s that you don’t have to be good enough. But it’s also that God flows His goodness into you and transforms you day by day. And it’s also true that many people probably love you dearly and think the world of you.

  15. Karen

    God created in me, a clean heart, so there is no more shame. There is no more room for shame. Thank you Lord, Thank you for this freedom.

  16. Sarah

    My burdens I want to leave with Jesus are these:

    1. The people I love. He loves them more than I do, and He can care for them so much better than I can (especially since I’m on the opposite side of the world from many of them).
    2. My fears of people, failure, and rejection.
    3. The future in general, and my future in specific. There are so many unknowns, but not to Him.

    I love the idea that He takes the crushing burdens from us and replaces it with His burden to serve Him. Oh, how I want that burden after all He caries for me!

  17. Sabrina

    I want to lay down the burden of having to look like I have it all together and feeling guilty if I struggle. I think I even bring this burden into my relationship with God at times—-going through forms and doing the “right” things when He just wants me to be open and honest with Him so that He can deal with me on a heart level.

  18. Donna

    I just feel so shame-filled right now, I don’t know where to start. It’s like I feel like nothing. Who would even want me to serve them. To feel this low, and yet try to try and serve 3 people is going to be challenge … and my world has shrunk. I’m going to make this a challenge today though … some ideas are coming into my head.

    1. Donna

      This reminds me somewhat of the old movie, “Pilgrim’s Progress”. Christian is climbing up a hill, and when he looks over the top and sees the Celestial City, the heavy sack that he’s been carrying on his back during his long journey, falls off. Great visual.

  19. Ericka

    huh. the verse is wrong at the end?

    burdens i carry that i will choose to leave at Jesus’ feet.. my sons education – all my kids for that matter. my anxieties about everything including anxiety. my frustration at the lack of control over the messes in my house. the constant urge to clean and purge things. my inability to keep up with things that arent really that important…

  20. Sasha

    My current burden is the illness that surrounds me. My husband is battling a myriad of issues; my 2 yo son is 6 months into his Type 1 diabetes; my father in law has health issues. They and my daughter are the only family I have near, so the weight is falling on me, crushing me actually. I want to trade that in for the sweet peace of Jesus.

  21. A J

    Touching meditation. Visualizing the burdens lifted is powerful. I have had self shame for so many years it is a habit. It comes involuntarily and is so destructive. I pray so often for this healing. To be free of this is something I experience only for short periods of time. It is discouraging.

  22. Tara

    I’d like to lay down the burden of fear (especially of the unknown) and feeling like I have to control my circumstances. I feel like I’ve laid it down before, but then I end up picking it back up to lug around some more. I know Jesus is trustworthy; I’ve experienced it. So I pray He will help me offload this thing for good.

      1. Tara

        Yes, sometimes it’s much easier to understand intellectually than practically. Trying to tune in more to everyday circumstances when I am more prone to picking up the burdens again or identifying the catalyst(s) that helps me lay them down.

  23. Erin D

    I want to leave at Jesus feet my desire for others approval, negative feelings toward myself, worries about my marriage and about the future. He’s the only one whose approval I need and He will take care of me whatever the future brings.


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