burden: chained by circumstance but freed by grace

burden - chained by circumstance, freed by grace @poetryjoy.com

There are days when our burdens, be they physical or emotional, become impossible to ignore. Days when we feel consumed by the weight of them. Chained to our hard circumstances. Dragged down into a dark place.

I prefer not to talk too much about having chronic illness, although it’s an inescapable fact that faces me each day. It demands enough. It has stolen too much. So much that I tend to want to ignore its presence and pretend I am fine, doing okay, even when I’m not.

It feels better to plaster a smile on my face and seek to maintain a positive outlook on life. It seems less bothersome, less of a burden to fight the good fight of faith and try not to yield to dismay. Or give in to self-pity.

But sometimes? Sometimes I am just too tired to fight against the pain. Sometimes I just want to sit and cry. Sometimes I lose sight of my loving Saviour sitting in the ashes with me, holding out His hands to receive.

Because God doesn’t want us to bear our burdens alone. He longs for us to turn to Him. To offer up our pain and problems like a fragrant thing. Because sometimes it’s truthfully all we are able to give to Him. And that’s okay. It really is.


fear nibbles at the edges of her soul, like a rat
aboard a sinking ship that leaks, lists and tips
because she has woken to face yet another
pain filled day, unrefreshed in every way

her spirits are plummeting fast and her heart
contracts as she thinks about the future, for
she longs above anything else not to become
a burden to others or to those she loves

during these days of increasing debility
and weariness, she can often forget
just who she should be handing all her
heavy burdens over to—until he speaks

with whispered reassurance in his voice
to her hurting soul—while he pours the balm
of hope into her heart, forcing fear and
discouragement to flee, and she falls

further, on bended knee, when Jesus
tenderly reminds her once again that
every burden handed over to him will
not only lessen the load on her soul

it will also miraculously transmute
into a blessing by faith, shaping her
perception, if not her situation in life

and so she prays, tears welling up in her
eyes, and she gives praise like a willing
sacrifice—in spite of nothing visible yet

taking place, she has already tasted his
goodness and grace, and sensed the difference
inside, where calm and peace now abide
© joylenton

We might not feel like it but we can learn to praise God in the storm, sense His presence with us and gain comfort in knowing we are not alone.

I’m so grateful for God’s grace in my life. His comforting embrace. His enabling when I am weak. For words coming when I feel drained and dry. And for being able to share my 5 minute(ish) poem with the fabulous five-minute-friday crew. This week’s prompt is “burden” and you can join your words here. 

burden - #FMF - burden poem excerpt (C)joylenton @poetryjoy.com

you carry seeds of joy and hope of glory



There are days when we hang our head; maybe it droops low with fatigue, low mood, shame or shyness. It can be hard to lift it up again when life weighs heavy.

It’s in those times that God reveals Himself as the lifter of our head, the carrier of hope and healing. He imparts joy back into weary hearts. He sings softly to us of love and of how infinitely precious we are in His sight, just as we are.

“The Lord your God is with you; his power gives you victory. The Lord will delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you” ~ Zephaniah 3:17 GNT

Poppies are a sign of remembrance, of battles fought and won, blood shed and victory secured. As we wear our poppy with pride (on Remembrance Sunday or Memorial Day), we think about the fallen, the brave and the bold who dared to lay down their lives for us.

Freedom comes at a price, and none higher than the shed blood of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He gave His all to save all for eternity. That’s how much you and I are valued by God.

Friend, you are not forgotten. Your life isn’t insignificant to the One who died so that you could live eternally with Him.

You are not a number, but a person of great worth and value to God. He knew you before you were born, lovingly crafted you together in your mother’s womb.

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you” ~ Jeremiah 1:5 Message

Our earthly parents can reject or neglect us, but our heavenly Father never will. He longs above all things to reassure you of just how much He cares about you.

God sees the hope of glory residing inside, which opens its heart to the warmth of His presence. He sees all you are now and all you can become by His grace.

You and I carry joy seeds within when we are in relationship with Jesus. His characteristics are sown into our souls and new life germinates from the old.

As children of God we can live with head held high, heart at peace and joy within reach. Though pain and problems abound, there is comfort and hope to be found by trusting our unknown future to a known God.





Welcome to #day8 of the #write31days writing challenge. Thank you for seeing me through my first week!

I appreciate your company and thoughts as I reflect on ways of journeying into joy. Do join in the conversation below.