Jesus Wants to Lighten Your Load Today

When we slow down, rest and let go it's beautiful as well as powerful because it says to a watching world: "Our Shepherd is good. And, yes, He can be trusted."

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

“What’s your most important value?” the group leader asked one morning during a Significant Woman study I did years ago. When it was my turn to respond I declared, “Growth!” with great enthusiasm.

I wanted to grow in every way. Spiritually. Socially. Emotionally. Mentally. And I thought doing so meant saying “yes” to every opportunity that came along. Surely anything I did for God must be good, right?

As time went by I began to feel an inexplicable weariness. My initial reaction was to simply try harder. Surely if I just helped others more, spent additional time doing spiritual things and even increased my exercise routine — then I’d be reenergized. Instead it seemed the weight on my shoulders increased. I even began to have physical symptoms.

Unable to push myself any harder, I finally let Jesus take hold of my heart in a new way. For months it seemed as if He took layer after layer off my “growth.” I started saying “no” more often. I let go of commitments He’d never asked me to make. I released expectations and a chronic desire to please everyone. Whew. I felt so much lighter.

So I laughed out loud in recognition when I saw a story about a sheep who had sneakily avoiding shearing for six years. The farmer who captured Shaun the sheep said, “He couldn’t see very well because of the wool over his face, so I snuck up behind him and grabbed him.”

Shaun the Sheep photo via ABC News

Shaun the Sheep photo via ABC News

I’d lived like Shaun the sheep in my pursuit of endless growth. And my vision had become compromised, too. I couldn’t see that I was carrying far more than Jesus required. He called out to my weighed down, wandering heart, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). He set me free from what seemed “good” and gave me what was truly best…

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul. (Ps. 23:1-3)

There’s something I now value far more than growth: obedience.

If I could go back to the younger version of myself sitting in that study I would say this to her:

I know you want to do great things and you believe that’s what God desires from you, too. But only one thing is needed: staying close to your Shepherd. Let Him take care of you. Let Him lead you. You don’t have to prove your worth to Him by what you can produce. He loves you just as you are.

I want to whisper that to your heart today, too. (We’re in the same flock, after all.) 

When we slow down, rest and let go it’s beautiful as well as powerful because it says to a watching world: “Our Shepherd is good. And, yes, He can be trusted.”


Holley Gerth

P.S. Looking for Graduation Gifts? You’re Already Amazing, You’re Made for a God-sized Dream and Opening the Door to Your God-sized Dreams will encourage the graduates in your life!

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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