Friday, August 3, 2012

Weary and Burdened...

“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28–30
From the time I was a small child I loved to hear the praise of my parents and friends when I accomplished a chore or challenge without any help from them...or at least I thought I’d accomplished it without help!  
Anyway... once I had my first taste of success... I was hooked on doing things “on my own” and only accepted help after I had no energy, strength or patience left to try it one more time alone!  What I saw as my being “strong and independent” ...was likely seen by others at times as sheer stubbornness! 
Although I wasn’t aware of God’s help and provisions during that time...The Lord was very aware of me...and no doubt God saw my Independence for what it really Pride.
In recent years and after rededicating my life in faith to Christ...the Lord has taught me through various difficult circumstances many good and faith strengthening lessons through His Word concerning His desire and my need to “call upon Him” for help! 
“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Too often when I became anxious or worried I allowed my pride to prevail over Jesus’ offer of rest...I thought I should be able to resist these enemies in my own strength because...well... because I trusted God and I had the strength of faith to persevere! So, when worry and anxious thoughts prevailed...weary and tired from the struggle...I would finally turn to the Lord and ask for His strength and His help.
But, it wasn’t until my husband’s battle with cancer did I discover how engaged my pride was in my war with worry and fear. I was living everyday with my beloved’s fight against cancer and it had me in a constant battle with fear and worry... leaving me depleted of all my strength. Feeling weary as I fought every day and night to win over my anxious thoughts...always holding tight to believing in “my strength of faith” instead of letting go and resting in trusting God’s strength. 
I desperately needed rest...yet my pride had me wanting my faith to be counted as true and strong...and so I unwaveringly remained resistant to Jesus’ offer of help.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me...”   
In total brokenness...I finally gave in to follow Jesus’ commandment fully allow Jesus’ yoke to rest on my shoulders...surrendered without resistance...and I finally found the burden I was carrying to be light. 

“...for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Locked into this yoke’s gentle pressure... I was given the strength to walk the path along side of Jesus without becoming weary. 
Imagine...instead of relying on our own strength of faith...instead of fearing what others will see in us...imagine...if we were to just be real about our need for God’s help in every circumstance in life.  
As a Christian...we do not know where our call to discipleship will lead us as we are yoked to Christ. What decisions... and painful separations will it entail? Only Jesus Christ, who bids us to follow him, knows where the path will lead.  Yet...we can be confident of will be a path full of mercy beyond measure. 

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;

   teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
   for you are the God of my salvation;
   for you I wait all day long. Psalm 25:4–5
“Lord Jesus, only you know where my path will lead, but I trust that, even if I do not know either the way or the destination, you are with me and before me, and I follow you...Please bestow upon my heart and place deeply into my very soul...a joy that rises above the weight of all anxious thoughts and shines the light of hope into the darkness of  doubts. Amen.”

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