Dear Teenager, Let Him Carry You

Dear Student,

I know that you are tired, overwhelmed, stressed, and feeling pressure on all sides. You are trying to meet the demands of your parents, your teachers, your coaches, your classmates, and maybe even your church. You are worried about your present and your future, and you might be wishing you could change the past. You have too many things to accomplish with too few hours in the day to accomplish them, and yet, everyone expects you to get it all done with a good attitude.

I have good news for you. There is someone who wants to take all of these pressures, demands, and expectations off of your back. Not only that, but he wants to carry them all for you for the rest of your life. In exchange, this person simply wants you to trust him (Matthew 11:28-29). Trust is not easy though, nor is it light. The kind of trust this person wants is total. He wants you to allow him to lead you, teach you, correct you, encourage you, and point you in the way you should go. He may want to make some changes to your life. He will certainly adjust the way you see and think about life (2 Corinthians 5:17).

But, you can trust this person.

He loves you so much that he actually died to save you from the death you were sentenced to a long time ago (Romans 6:23; John 3:16). There is no one you can trust more than this One (John 15:13). Let me introduce you to Him.

His name is Jesus.

He came because He knew you were tired. As a matter of fact, He knows everything about you. He knows what you dream, what you fear, what you love, what you hope, what you want, what you hate, what you need, and even why all those things are true of you. He knows you better than your parents know you, better than your siblings know you, and even better than you know you. Do you know why? Because He made you (Colossians 1:16). And because He made you, He knows exactly how you were made, why you were made, and what you were made for (Psalm 139:13-16).

Remember that I told you He wants to take all of that stuff off of your back? Well, here is part of how He does it. He gives you one purpose in life. With that purpose, everything else falls into place; no more pressure to meet everyone’s expectations and demands; no more stressing over your present or future circumstances. Are you ready to hear the purpose?

The only purpose Jesus has for you is to become more and more like Him (Romans 8:29). I know, that sounds crazy, and like a whole lot of work. But here’s the thing: Jesus does not want you to try to accomplish this in your own strength or ability. As a matter of fact, He has promised that He will do it for you, as you remain close to Him, leaning on Him for all your many needs (Galatians 5:16-26). You can throw away the lists. As you keep your eyes on Christ, He leads you along (Hebrews 12:1-2).

As you go, there will be many opportunities for you. You can talk to Him about which ones are best. He is good at giving that kind of advice because He knows exactly what you are made for and exactly where He intends to lead you. One of my favorite things about Jesus is that He loves to give us the very things we desire most (Psalm 37:4)! And more often than not, for me, it turns out the thing I wanted wasn’t even as great as the thing He decided to give me instead. He is an amazing gift giver (Matthew 7:11)!

With Jesus, you don’t have to worry about your future: what school you go to, what scholarships you receive, or what career you will choose, because He will take care of you no matter where you end up (Luke 12:22-34). You don’t have to worry about the past, He is leading you into a glorious future (Philippians 3:13-14). Every day is brand new with Him (Lamentations 3:22-23). And whatever each day brings, He has promised to help you get through it (Philippians 4:13).

Are you tired? If so, you don’t need to respond to me, just tell Jesus. He is listening. He loves you. And He wants to carry you. So much so that He is holding off the fate of the whole world in hopes that you will turn to Him (2 Peter 3:9).

Shaun McDonald has been serving as youth pastor at Open Arms Church in upstate New York since 2008, and has been involved in youth ministry since 2004.  He has a passion to see Christ take root in the hearts and lives of youth and their families.  Coming from a tumultuous and rebellious background, Shaun can think of no greater privilege than sharing the greatest hope of Jesus Christ.  Shaun received an Associates Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Bachelor degree in Religion from Liberty University, and is working on his Master of Divinity in Discipleship and Family Ministry through The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Shaun, his wife and their three children live in Rotterdam, N.Y. You can read his devotional blog at

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