Recently, I traveled to Africa to spread some Christmas joy to thousands of children. I was part of a team who shared the Christmas story about birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Many people heard this news, some for the first time. Every child there was taught how to dance before the Lord with joy. I worked alongside Children’s Cup, an established organization, that feeds kids in South Africa and Swaziland with a regular feeding program. Christmas is celebrated in Swaziland and S.A. but not big like the western world. Think of an American-style VBS on steroids, that’s what these parties were like.
In Africa, they like to dance a lot. Especially in church, it’s one of the ways they express their worship for Jesus. They are born with a rhythm of the beat and literally can’t be beat in a contest. That’s why this clumsy American was a little afraid of making a fool of herself in front of them all.
Let me tell you I danced like an uncoordinated girl who never showed up for a dance lesson. God placed me in the middle of the dance and cake station with those Christmas parties. Once I found out my station, I began to sweat. I mentioned to the dance leader, Patience, that I wasn’t the best dancer. She laughed and said to me,
“We are going to throw off our troubles and dance.”
That line has stuck with me since because isn’t that we should all do when we come before the Lord? Oh we throw off our troubles, but we tend to pick them back and add weight to our dance. There is not only great peace in leaving our troubles in the Lord’s hands but also by leaving them on His dance floor, that act of releasing adds great joys to our dance.
The world is full of problems, we make bad choices that have consequences. We mess up and make messes. We try to get it right and keep going back to what gets us into trouble. We try, we worry, we carry our troubles to the cross and then pick them back up again to carry a load that we were never created to bear.
When we take up our daily cross, and we need to lay down our problems for God to handle. How often do we think He needs help in solving those problems? Helping God manage our problems often waltzes our souls into thinking that God should consult us about what the solution should be. Let me remind you….God knows what he is doing.
Now this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray about our woes or the concerns of others. We should talk to God about everything. And talk often.
And His response every time? “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” ~ Matthew 11:28
There’s a peace that we can bend low to when we completely leave our problems at the feet of the Lord. There’s great joy we can take away with us to know that we are in safe hands. And God, who loves us independent of our behavior, is a good God.
God is good and is always working good on our behalf.
Are you troubled today? I know I have a few too. What I have to remember is how to carrying a lighter load. I wasn’t built to carry so much on a tiny frame. Neither were you.
When someone is looking out for my best, I will trust them to the forever degree. God is good and works good and solves good. The peace and joy that are exchanged at the cross are what we want in this life. So why do we carry them away with us again?
We forget to throw them onto the capable shoulders of God. First we have to go God to cast them His way, to transfer the burden, to lighten our load. Before give them over to God we have to trust Him. Jesus showed us the true model of trust and carrying loads. And he went to the Father often. He was strategic with His time in fact.
He sought the Father out first. First we have to come to God. Then we have to release those concerns and troubles to Him. Then we walk away lighter knowing that our Father, who has no needs, provides for all our needs.
Read that again…
God has no needs, but He yet anticipates all of ours.
We can carry an expectancy as we believe He is working for us, and have the peace that comforts our minds. Plus the assurance that someone is beside us and not leaving us alone. I can trust God who cares.
Trust is huge when it comes to intimacy in relationships, closeness in spirit, being real, authentic and honest with God. It’s important to trust your dance partner if you are dropped in a strategic move or an extreme dance. When I receive God’s peace and joy in my daily morning dance with God, I come away with a lighter load knowing He’s got this day just like yesterday. And just like I anticipate He will tomorrow. There’s great joy in knowing He takes lead and I can walk away ready to dance anytime like I just don’t care.
What are you troubled with today? Have you danced freely before the Lord with it?