Mantles vs. Burdens

In our staff meeting last week, while listening to a message, the Lord interrupted my thoughts and asked me a gently convicting question:

”My sweet daughter, in each area of your life, are you carrying your burdens or My mantle?” 

A life full of ministry, marriage, motherhood, home keeping, and the ever present longing to pursue the passions in my heart, at times can weigh me down….so this question stirred in me.

The Bible addresses both types of loads and though vastly different, they can be easily mistaken.

Mantles are mandates that God lays upon us to accomplish a specific purpose. With this, comes an anointing from the Holy Spirit to equip us and a grace from God to sustain us. Mantles may exhaust us each day, but they don’t weigh us down because they are a gift from God. (1 Kings 19:19, 2 Kings 2:13)

Burdens, on the other hand, we take on ourselves and carry through our day with all the emotional, physical, and mental toil that add to it. These stresses were never meant for us to hold. Jesus challenges us to give these burdens to Him and trade them for a yoke that is easy and a much lighter burden. In our exchange, we will find rest for our weary souls. (Matthew 11:28-30)

My girls started summer camp this week and the night before their first day they packed their bags. They filled them to the brim with toys and activities to play, lunch and snacks to enjoy, and a blanket and pillow to rest. These bags which were used all school year to carry books and binders, notepads and pencil cases, were now tearing at the seams stuffed with their favorite things. I asked with concern if they would be too heavy and offered to remove items, but they were too excited about the adventure they were about to embark upon in this season to worry about the weight on their backs. All these items they deemed necessary for the day. It’s not a burden to them, it’s a joy.

I am beginning to reflect on this in my own life. In this season, what is “in my bag”? What has God filled it with and what have I added as extra weight that didn’t come from Him. What do I need to unpack or leave behind? What is unnecessary and overwhelming?

Your Turn: In life, what is the mantle God has laid upon you and what burdens have you added?