Daniel 2:19a – “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.”
Back to Daniel today. Back to the whole laying your burdens down thing. Me or someone else must have a lot of things to lay down because God has laid this hard and heavy on my heart.
Daniel had just shared his burden with his friends. I’m sure that he had just spent his time in prayer. Now, here is where Daniel differs than most of us – he went to sleep.
Burdens are smothering things. They will take the life and the wind right out of us. They cause us to lose focus. They cause us to forget how to trust. They create within us an unnecessary feeling of anxiety that can rob us of so many joys – including sleep. How many times have you had “one of those days” and laid your head down to go to sleep at 9 PM only to see every hour on the hour until the wee hours of the morning? Sound familiar? Not Daniel, in this instance. He laid them down and went to sleep.
See, the problem we have with burdens is that we don’t want to let them go. We tend to somewhat enjoy carrying them around like a badge of honor. We tell others about them. We think about them. We feed them and keep them close. What Jesus really wants us to do is leave them at the foot of the cross. Lay them down. Walk away from them. But the key to walking away is trusting that He is going to handle them. We want to pick them up because somewhere deep down, we doubt. We doubt that He can really take care of it. Oh, that doubt is so deep that we rarely acknowledge its existence. Unfortunately, though, it is there. It is alive and well. We need to kill it. Doubt about the trustworthiness and lack of confidence in our Savior needs to die. If He can keep the world tilted at such and angle and keep it going for all these years, surely He can handle whatever burden you might be carrying. Jesus took the sins of the world on His shoulders. Your burdens are nothing compared to that!
Another thought in this tiny little verse – Daniel would not have received his blessing of revealing the dream if he had not gone to sleep. Had he not laid down his burdens, he probably would not have been able to sleep that night and who knows what would have happened. I’m not usually one for “what ifs” but it seemed appropriate in this instance. Anyway, my point is this- sometimes we miss out on blessings because we are too caught up in toting our burdens around. When we are following Christ, there are blessings around every corner and in every nook and cranny. We just have to keep our head up and our eyes open. But when we have burdens that we are carrying, it skews our vision and causes us to miss blessings that are right there waiting on us – all we have to do is claim them.
So let me encourage you today, lay down ALL of your burdens. Don’t pick up a single one when you get ready to leave. They are heavy. They are ugly. They are cumbersome. When you hand them over to Jesus, just remember that He can handle it. He can deal with them. He can make them go away. You just have to trust Him to do so.