Hand the glass over.

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the ‘half empty or half full’ question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
She continued: “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
Remember to put the glass down.


The author of this story is unknown to me, but the analogy has been circulating for a little while now.

It resonates with many people, I think, because we all have ‘glasses of water’ we’re carrying. Some of us, in fact, are clenching the cup so tight it’s about to smash with the pressure.

I know what it’s like to hold onto things and not let them go. If it was as simple as ‘letting it go’, we would – straight away. But it’s often complex, isn’t it? The healing process? The dilemmas we need to work through… The things we’re angry at God about… The questions left unanswered…

Some things we might let go of, easily – like maybe the colleague who said something thoughtless, the scrape on the car… the spilt milk. But other, more difficult issues, can take time.

I know full well the heaviness that comes from dwelling, analyzing, speculating, wondering why, and stressing.

But unless we come, eventually, to a point of surrender – we are paralysed. We feel victimized – unable to move forward. I know the fine line.

And sometimes our own devices aren’t enough. We need outside help.

Lord, thank you that you are our great Burden Bearer.
We can kneel before you with all our messy glasses of water and know full well you’ll carry them for us. You’ll never grow weary from them.
Help us to know how to ‘let it go’. To forgive those who’ve wronged us. To surrender the hurt. To leave in your hands the questions still unanswered.
You alone can carry us through the darkness. You alone can cleanse us and make us pure. You alone can bring clarity where there’s confusion, and reassure our troubled hearts.
Today, we surrender ALL to the One who is above all things…
In Jesus’ name.


    1. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your experiences Deborah. I really liked the thoughts about letting go of the need to be in control. I struggle with this a lot. But the Christian life involves serial surrendering doesn’t it? Knowing how to let it go to Him, again and again. Thanks for the wisdom and encouragement on the journey!

  1. I like that analogy GodGirl but I would also pour out the water that is polluted and not allow it contaminate me again but of course we can’t as you shared, do this by ourselves , yes we can choose to but we need The Lord’s empowering to do so and as the Body of Christ we need each other too.

    Greater than our problems is our unwillingness to reach out honestly for help. And greater than our own solutions is our willingness to reach out and share honestly.

    Unexpressed admiration or Love encourages no one, and expressed correction when done for Love and in Love discourages others from continuing in error and helps them mature.

    Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

    Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

    2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

    Matthew 11:28 – 30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    Christian Love from us both – Anne

  2. Thanks so much for writing Anne – and I totally agree. We all have problems, but the key is in the reaching out and the seeking help – from God and others. It’s so important to be honest isn’t it! And God certainly is wonderful at helping us with that when we surrender to Him. Great bible verses too.

  3. I also like the analogy you began with. It’s so true that the smallest burden gets heavy when carried for long periods. Your prayer was a beautiful way to end this post.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. As walter bright says in the comments, it is a life changing post. I have carried a few glasses of water throughout life that ended up having the weight of a barrel of water after a few years. I will try to remember to put down the glass, or glasses; when my arm begins to ache. Do you mind if I reblog this?

Comment on this post?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s