Thursday, July 15, 2010

You Who Are Weary

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest in your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 28-30

Hm.
That's a true comfort, isn't it?

I was drawn into this passage today because the truth is that I've been very weary and burdened. I like this promise.

It's an interesting passage though, isn't it? Jesus tells us to take his yoke upon ourselves. He tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

How can he give us such a promise, when so much of life is full of suffering, and we are called to persevere through the many trials we will inevitably face?

The answer is found in Him. Read this selection from Ann Voskamp:

"Just wait, weary worker, weary wanderer. All your travels, all your relentless journeys, all your endless seeking, it is over. You are at your destination. You have arrived. You are in Me. Rest here, in Me, wait here, in Me. I will endlessly revive you. I will endlessly carry you. Live here."

Is it always easy? No. Is it always obvious? No. Resting in Him--grasping the easy yoke and light burden--takes some practice because His Rest is contrary to our world.

So how? - you may ask. How do I practice this rest?
I would highly recommend reading 3 Ways to Really Enter into His Rest Right Now.

(And yes, I just linked to the same post twice! -- It's really that important that you read it!!)

A final question to you, dear readers: How do you find rest in the Lord-- especially in the midst of great pain and non-restful circumstances? What do you think Jesus meant when he said his yoke is easy and his burden is light?

4 comments:

  1. There is this 1970s married couple (don't know if they are still married, hope they are) which sang together on quite a few albums. My mom listened to them all the time when I was a child and one of the songs was quoting your opening scripture. It gets in my head a lot and I quote it to people because the song helped memorize it. It is such a gorgeous scripture!!!

    I think that it is easier to save people you love and care for and give them a way to TRUE life rather than watching them slip away. . so I see it in that way, that in Jesus there is eternal freedom and plenty of rest, even if it is quite a struggle to live in this short life here. It will be worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In the discipleship class I'm taking at church, we're reading a book by Watchman Nee called Sit, Walk, Stand. The first chapter, on sitting, addresses the idea that we need to be seated with Christ, to understand our position with him through God's grace as something that's already achieved. Nee tells a story about a man he met at a conference who was struggling with his inability to forgive his wife for running off with his best friend. This guy gets the concept of being seated, but his immediate response is, "What can I *do*?" Nee's response:

    "'God is waiting till you cease to do,' I said. 'When you cease doing, then God will begin. Have you ever tried to save a drowning man? The trouble is that his fear prevents him trusting himself to you. When that is so, there are just two ways of going about it. Either you must knock him unconscious and then drag him to the shore, or else you must leave him to struggle and shout until his strength gives way before you go to his rescue. If you try to save him while he has any strength left, he will clutch at you in his terror and drag you under, and both he and you will be lost. God is waiting for your store of strength to be utterly exhausted before he can deliver you. Once you have ceased to struggle, he will do everything. God is waiting for you to despair.'" (p. 11)

    That was such a revelation to me about how to rest in the Lord. It makes so much sense to me that it's like a near-drowning, and we have to get to the end of our strength, at least at first. I suspect that the more we mature in our walk with Christ, the more willing we are to surrender our fear to him, which makes us more ready to rest or be seated with Christ.

    I think it also has a lot to do with being willing to receive, rather than give. We have to be confident in our salvation to allow God to do things for us. We have to believe that, to God, we are worth taking care of. God wants to shower us with gifts--isn't that really what the story of the Prodigal Son is about? The younger son messes up, completely blows it, and his father rejoices at the opportunity to give him more gifts. The older son can't stop giving long enough to receive anything from his dad, and because he works and works and gives and gives, he has no material needs. He can get a robe for himself, but his brother can't. So their father showers the younger one with gifts. Resting in Christ means trusting God enough to get out of the way and accept--joyfully and gratefully--everything He gives.

    I'm still chewing on this, but it's a beginning.

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  3. Jessi, I really appreciate this thought, although I still struggle with what it looks like. How can we cease to "do" when we are told to "draw near to God?" Doesn't "drawing near" require some sort of action?

    I am particularly struggling with this in support-raising. I know I have a part in it - to get the word of this ministry out to others - but I still always think that I'm not DOING enough.

    But God has certainly revealed to me that this is an area in which I have to grow. I have been too self-reliant. I haven't really accepted that God loves me and has forgiven me, and there is nothing I can do to attain more of his grace.

    It's SO HARD to figure out what it means to "cease." Praying for that wisdom....

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is this 1970s married couple (don't know if they are still married, hope they are) which sang together on quite a few albums. My mom listened to them all the time when I was a child and one of the songs was quoting your opening scripture. It gets in my head a lot and I quote it to people because the song helped memorize it. It is such a gorgeous scripture!!!

    I think that it is easier to save people you love and care for and give them a way to TRUE life rather than watching them slip away. . so I see it in that way, that in Jesus there is eternal freedom and plenty of rest, even if it is quite a struggle to live in this short life here. It will be worth it.

    ReplyDelete