Your 50 Favorite Proverbs: #31 Heavy Lifting

June 2014 Your 50 Favorite Proverbs | Liz Curtis Higgs

Anxiety. It can mean everything from a fleeting sense of worry to a serious illness that affects more than 40 million adults in the U.S.

For those among us who suffer from anxiety disorder, the right prescription just might restore our bodies to a healthy chemical balance. For others of us, the right word at the right time could be enough to lift our burdens and brighten our spirits.

Whatever anxiety means to you, this week’s verse offers good medicine.

Anxiety weighs down the heart,
    but a kind word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25

Proverbs 12:25 in two words


The cares of life can quickly rob our joy and drain us of hope. A feeling of “heaviness” (ASV) can settle into our soul, whether from “grief” (DRA) and “sorrow” (YLT) at a recent loss, or an overwhelming sense of “worry” (EXB) about what might happen next.

The Hebrew word, deagah, includes “fear” among its meanings. When we let our imaginations wander down What-If Boulevard, when we visit Worst-Case-Scenario Town one too many times, fear of the future can become an unbearable burden.

"Anxiety weighs down the heart..." Proverbs 12:25

…weighs down the heart,…

Imagine an unseen emotion pressing down on us until we “stoop” (ASV) and are brought “low” (DRA). Like “a heavy load” (NCV) that “drags us down” (VOICE), anxiety not only affects us on the inside; it can also change us on the outside. Our shoulders droop, our eyes are downcast, and people start asking, “Are you okay?”

This is the hardest part. Admitting something’s wrong. Confessing, “No, I’m not okay,” first to ourselves, then to someone we trust.

The good news? God already knows about your heart condition. He is even now sending help. One of his children is bringing just what you need.

"...a kind word..." Proverbs 12:25

…but a kind word…

It’s amazing what “an encouraging word” (AMP) can do. Six weeks ago I shared with a friend my desperate desire to make a change in my life. With each halting step forward, I texted her an update, and she texted back “a good word” (CEB).

“I am so very, very proud of you.”
“Keep going.”
“You’ve made my day!!!”
“I am believing God, my friend.”
“Come on!!!”
“Your best days are ahead of you.”

If you need to hear those words, beloved, take them. They are meant for you too.

So are these: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Never. Leave. You. Nor. Forsake. You.
Six really good words.

"...cheers it up." Proverbs 12:25

…cheers it up.

The end result of a kind word from a friend? Or (even better) from God’s Word? Our eyes brighten. Our hearts lighten. Our burdens lift.

Thank you, Lord. For my friend, Chris. For all our friends who know what we need most.

A good word makes us “glad” (ASV). It brings us “joy” (NET) and “lightens our day” (VOICE). The fact is, “a word of encouragement does wonders!” (TLB).

Need something that “makes you happy” (ERV) right now? Four minutes with Pharrell Williams should do it. Three hundred million people have watched this video, including your Lizzie. Cheers me up every time, especially when the choir joins in.

Not your style? Then turn to the One you know will help you most and pray as David did: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12).

May your joy be restored, beloved, and your strength renewed!

Proverbs 12:25

Now it’s your turn

  • If you’re not okay right now, could you tell someone you trust?
  • If someone around you isn’t okay, what kind word could you offer them today?

Thanks for taking a moment to Post a Comment below. When you share, it means so much to all of us who gather here.

Your Printable of Proverbs 12:25 is ready for you to download (no worries, it takes a few seconds). And all the Proverbs we’ve studied so far are on Pinterest.

Sending you a hug this day, praying that something here has lifted your heart. Need more encouragement? Holley Gerth shares her passion for uplifting words on (in)courage. Beautiful.

Your sister, Liz
@LizCurtisHiggs #50Proverbs

Your sister, Liz Curtis Higgs BibleGatewayBloggerGrid Your 50 Favorite Proverbs | Liz Curtis Higgs
Love being part of (in)courage! I am honored to write for P31 Ministries


29 Responses to Your 50 Favorite Proverbs: #31 Heavy Lifting

  1. Diane June 18, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    This is one of my favorites–thank you for elaborating on it, Miss Liz! It so helps to have others around who WILL share a good word…and thanks to you I now have at least 42 others who will share that good word with me in a heartbeat or mouse click. Anxiety, worry and fear can be debilitating. I know that is not what God the Father who gives us the desires of our heart wants for us.

  2. Brenda Williams June 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    A kind word… so needed, so often. I always try to smile when I see someone frown to be an encourager. A kind word can help when we are feeling down or disheartened. Such good medicine. Thanks for the “kind word” today, Liz.

  3. jaime June 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    This is a beautiful verse. There are only a few people I trust but I can tell those few anything! My favorites to share with others, depending on the situation are “I know the plans I have for you…” and johnny Diaz’ song ” more beautiful you”. That’s one of the ringbacks on my phone. I love that people hear something positive before the call is even answered.

  4. Jeanie Batts June 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Love, love this Word! I couldn’t help but think of that OLD hymn that says,”I must tell Jesus, I cannot bear these burdens alone”. And evidently there’s no need to bear burdens and anxieties alone. Turning to Him or to a close friend will comfort and cheer us – then we can go and be that friend to someone else. Yes!

  5. Cindy Rogers June 18, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    Thank you for such a wonderful word. I love it.

  6. Carol Weeks June 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    This is such a good proverb to study! We all have anxiety so we can all relate to this. About a year ago, I wrote myself a letter when I was having a good day. It’s to be read on the down days. And I am very encouraged by it because it’s me talking to me! I know exactly what to say to be encouraging and supportive. I really didn’t think it would work, but it does!

  7. Letty June 18, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Just came home from my first appointment with a counselor about some anxiety I have been experiencing. When I opened the email I knew it was an encouraging word for my Father. Thank you Liz for allowing God to speak through you. I am going to pass on words of encouragement to others also.

  8. Annette Bergman June 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    Your message was like we had talked personally and every word applied to me. I have been having anxiety attacks. I do have heart problems and my life has been in a whirlwind for almost 18 months. While I see some things getting better I still seek direction. My husband died 6 months ago and I have to move from our home. He was sick for 15 months and now I feel lost. I read my Bible everyday and I know in my heart everything is in God’s time. I know, this too shall pass.
    Thanks for your ever encouraging words. You are such a special person.

    • Debbie June 20, 2014 at 1:18 am #

      Dear Annette, I don’t know what to say, but I wanted you to know there is someone (I’m guessing many!!) who is praying for you tonight. God bless you and be your Comforter and very close companion in these hours that must feel so very long and difficult… May He be your strength and your song, and vibrate through you – to your very bones. he knows you and hears you and loves you deeply! You will get through this! Psalms 73:25,26 & 28! Hugs, Debbie

  9. Elaine June 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    Liz, you know how to pump us up. Great job. I have a friend who encourages and I know it’s mutual. What a blessing to have friends. Love video by Pharrell as well.
    Thanks. You are a gem. Elaine

  10. Catherine Thorne June 18, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Thanks, Liz! The sweet words and that great video made my day! I’m happy!

  11. Karen Johns June 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    This is God reaffirming a message I heard last night. Thanks!

  12. Cris OBrien June 18, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    This verse was for me this week. Thank you Liz. Last week I was jogging with my dog and a loose pit bull suddenly appeared in the street and attack my dog. My dog held her own, but after we made it back home I was trembling thinking what a close call it was for both of us.
    A friend came over a few hours later . She looked at me and asked how I was. I replied “Ok” . She said “No you aren’t , What’s wrong ?” I admitted I had lied, I was not ok.
    It is so wonderful when God sends us a friend for encouragement and hugs when we need them. Its also wonderful when we can be that friend for someone else.

  13. Paula Gershoony June 19, 2014 at 1:59 am #

    WOW Liz I needed this. It’s Paula from Placerville ; )
    Taking care of my dying father for a year I knew I was starting to suffer from anxiety. Watching him die before my eyes has really messed me up emotionally and mentally. Then bled for a year. Went in this past May for polyps in my uterus thinking that was the problem. I am now finished with my 2nd surgery in 2 months..Had to have a hysterectomy. Fun…nope. But I still suffer from this anxiety. My dad has been with Jesus one year this past fathers day nd anxiety get worse at times and better other times. Yes, encouragement helps but want to be truly healed from it.
    BLESS you Sister Liz

  14. Linda H June 19, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    What an amazing verse to read today! The images of a “heart weighed down” spoke to me as that is how I have been feeling. I have a group of women who meet just to pray and that is where I can go for an uplifting word. I don’t get that encouragement at home where I sometimes need it most. I need to put this verse up for all to see…maybe that will change our speech in my home. I will be praying for you Liz for whatever changes you are trying to make. It is difficult to break old habits. I have begun a journey of change my self and staying encouraged and full of hope even when we fail is a
    challenge!! Thankful that the Lord looks past those mistakes and loves us anyway!!!♥♥♥

  15. Nancy June 19, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    After an exceptionally hard year at work, and the death of a functionally insane mother (96) and the death of my MIL two weeks later, I found myself there in Psalms reading that verse He put there just for me. It was the beginning of healing on so many levels- restoration of joy, acknowledging that it is His salvation given to me, and that I needed and could have a willing spirit and that these things would sustain me – through everything. It had been so long since even the word joy had entered my mind. He brought other people and events into my heart as I went to England with husband on a business trip and I found myself in York- I had planned to visit the Minster, but discovered a small church along side it that was having a noonday midweek service- I slipped in and He provided that “kind” word through the music, the short sermon, the words of the minister after, and even the elderly gentleman who struck up a conversation with me while sitting before the service started. I too can testify how timely a kind word is!

  16. Jere June 19, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    Dear Liz. This proverb is one of my favorites ! The video is awesome & just enhances the meaning! I’ve shared with friends! Thank you for using your God given talents & gifts to encourage thousands of people & praise Jesus for using you to speak Hus truth to others!

  17. Kathy June 19, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    Hey chicks! Loved the video! I’m a little down in the dumps today, having some issues but I can read those words of encouragement and know “things are gonna get easier” thanks Liz -I will pray for you too, my dear sister. K

  18. Mary E Taylor June 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    Hi Liz and all
    I can sure attest to a kind word or words. Recently my husband who has dementia fell and broke his hip. The next days as my daughter posted for me, I heard from all around the world kind words of encouragement. He is failing rapidly mentally and as I grieve for “My honey” I find myself listening to gospel CD’s in the car and lifting up my hands to Our Lord. I have so much support but still I worry and then fall back on my “knees” and cry out to “let go and let God” Thank you so much for sharing this verse and all your comments. God Bless you Mightily. Mary

  19. Susan June 19, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    Anxiety is awful, my mind stops , everything goes in slow motion, my stomach churns, I feel like rocks in my mouth. I have not done that in many years, one of the really bad times, I called mental health and said, I don’t know what is wrong with me. They told me to come right then , a friend drove me, I won’t go into the details but it is awful. Only God can help and I feel like he dialed the phone that day. We call it burting out in my family and we can tell when it is happening , your eyes look glazed, you act very cheerful because you do not want anyone to know. Prayer, and changes in circumstances surrounding you , and yes Anxiety weighs down the heart,
    but a kind word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25 , and lots of love !!!

  20. Susan June 19, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

    I love you liz , I put Pharrell video on facebook 🙂 he is right on

  21. Chris June 19, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    I need to do this kind of thing more often and never do it often enough. -Thank you for working through the verse – a good encouragement for folks like me who face depression & anxiety all the time. My God & Father are constant companions and a very great help in times of need.

  22. Ginny Campbell June 21, 2014 at 12:27 am #

    Oh Liz, you have now hit home! Anxiety is a bug-a-boo for me. Often not aware of why, but can feel it as it approaches. I know it is not from God and that He knows me well and how I function. Anxiety is like a weight. My delightful Christian PA talks with me about it and reassures me it is not because my faith is weak. Things in ones body change with age causing us to react differently. I talk to God about it and trust in His wisdom, mercy and strength……….for anxiety to wane in my spirit. I tend to want things to be right for everyone and become frustrated and anxious when I cannot be the fixer…………which I cannot usually do. Never thought God would have to still be working on me as a senior adult………but He does……and am I grateful. Thanks, Liz, for making me deal with this issue today! Bless you!
    Ginny Campbell

  23. sue donaldson June 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    Thanks so much – beautifully said. God’s been speaking/banging on my door of late re: Worry as Sin = Lack of trust (“Do you know Me or ???”) He is gentle and worth trusting. Just printed the file – thanks again. And will pass it/you on.

  24. Susan Gruener June 22, 2014 at 3:22 am #

    Thanks Liz! Anxiety as most of us know can be a very serious problem. And it can ruin a perfectly good day… I have found that nothing gets me out of the ‘dumps’ but the Word of God. His truth, encouragement and promises lift my soul like nothing else.
    Blessings to you and thanks for the ‘hug’! 😉 I took it to heart and it lifted MY spirit and put a smile on my face! 🙂

  25. Gill Payne June 23, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    This is so timely for the discussion my husband and I have been having this morning. Many thanks.

  26. PAM GREEN June 25, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    So funny you mentioned Pharell’s “Happy” song. It cheers me up everytime! It makes me get up and dance which is great for this 64 year old soul!!!

  27. Regina July 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    There’s no good way to get a grip on a runaway train of anxious thoughts. Maybe that’s what makes them so heavy on the heart. Like a oversized load of laundry you’re trying to carry in one trip to the washer, it’s a wiley burden. Just when you think you have a precarious hold, you look down only to discover you’ve missed an errant sock, and if you bend down to pick it up, you somehow drop another one from the towering pile. It can be a comedy of errors if your mood is right…or the straw that breaks your fragile facade into a million pieces. Yes, the laundry is dirty. You know that, and you’re trying to take it to the right place to fix that. If only you could get there.

    How precious are the words of a friend. A friend’s encouraging words can enter into shattered mess of a pile gone terribly wrong and knock that runaway train right from its tracks. A kind word can be an extra hand that picks up the errant sock, allowing you to keep your tenuous grip on the way to the washer. A kind word can change the soundtrack and somehow make a tragic moment into a comedic one. (Have you ever had a friend rescue you from frustration and tears by dissolving you into a pile of giggles? I have. It’s the best kind of rescue.)

    I’m definitely blessed to have friends I can reach out to when I’m struggling. The hardest part is admitting that I need the help. The thought of my friend’s hands on my errant socks? It’s embarrassing. But a friend won’t air that laundry, they’ll help you carry it to the washer. And the thing is, I know I wouldn’t be bothered in the least if the tables were turned. It’s a sock. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. That’s just life. Why is it so much easier to give help than receive it? (Especially when anxiety is involved.)

    My prayer is to have the bravery to be transparent with those who have my trust, and to have ears to hear and eyes to see when someone might need a hand themselves. Not to carry the whole load. There’s someone whose hands are big enough for that. Just to pick up a sock or two on the way.


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