In my spare time (LOL) I’m reading a book that is really challenging me. Actually, I’m reading a few because whenever I have a minute I grab the nearest book and start reading. I love to read…probably why I’m an English teacher.
The author of one of the books I’m reading shared that she wasn’t praying about anything she might have caused, and a small little candle began to shine in my head…oh my goodness, I’m like that. I might pray in the sense that I tell God what a miserable human being I am and how I have no idea how to fix this thing or that thing, but I don’t really share the burden with Him. I keep it.
It is my burden to bear…it is my fault. It is not right for me to slough off my burden on Him. My burdens are natural consequences for my bad decisions or behavior. How can I possibly expect Him to alleviate this weight I carry?
It is my load to bear.
All of a sudden, familiar verses roll into my head (and heart).
Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Jesus is telling us to go to Him. Stop working and bearing the burden alone. Allow Him to give me rest. Rest is what I really want. Rest from my thoughts mostly. I am all up in my head so often…and sometimes it feels debilitating. Like I can’t move forward. I don’t want to go backward (except if it means changing all the stupid decisions I’ve made into better ones…or even less stupid ones).
And I can’t live any moment to its fullest because all I’m thinking about is all the ways my life is a mess. I can’t see a way out…only through…and through seems like an awful way to go. But Jesus says if I take his yoke…instead of mine…I will find rest for my soul (and that must mean my mind too…right?) An easy and light burden sounds lovely. Not really possible, but lovely just the same.
I don’t understand how this works. Because honestly, there is still this mess in my life. And not to belabor the point, but good gravy! How in the world do I make things better enough so I can not worry, be anxious, and rest?
The other day as my son Peter and I waited to meet with a contractor about a very big issue with our home, he said, “Momma, we really need a big blessing.”
I said, “Yes, some kind of miracle.”
Still waiting…maybe I should start watching instead of just waiting.
Watching to see how God is going to intervene. Expecting that He will. And yet, even as I write that, I think, why would He? A large portion of my fall-apartness is because of decisions I’ve made. I chose this house. I chose this town. I chose this job. I chose a million little things that have placed me where I am. Right smack dab in the middle of this storm of stress.
And then God showed me this verse:
Humble yourselves, therefore,
under the mighty hand of God
so that at the proper time
He may exalt you,
casting all your anxieties on him,
because he care for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
There is a word that jumps out at me – humble. My English nerd self noticed how that is a verb not an adjective. It is something I need to do. I think that means that I need to be willing to acknowledge the way I feel, think, and act to the Lord…honestly. And more importantly, let him handle it. Let him lead. Let him help me pick up the pieces of my scattered stuff.
Humble myself enough to acknowledge that…yes, I’ve made dumb decisions…and yes, I’ve been overwhelmed by my circumstances rather than Christ, and yes, I feel that I should bear the whole burden because it is my doing…but I can’t. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t be this woman who relies on herself to fix life things. Clearly, I’m neither equipped nor able to do it without Him.
And, wow, I’m embarrassed and ashamed and weary of being this frazzled failure of a woman.
Some of my friends laugh with me at how ridiculous my life is…some are incredulous, some a little frustrated with God along with me, some a bit judgmental, and some just avoid me if possible. I totally get it.
But I believe the thing that got me the most lately is a dear friend who asked me to stop sharing because my life was too overwhelming for them… ROTFL! I had to laugh. Still do.
MY life is too overwhelming for YOU! Imagine what it is doing to ME!! I’m chuckling as I type. Because it was confirmation that I’m not nuts…that I’m not being a lightweight. That the circumstances of my life are indeed a bit much…even for those observing…listening…walking with me.
My less favorite movies are the ones where everything goes wrong…those movies where it is one mishap after another. Drives me crazy. And now, I’m realizing that is my life! Maybe that is why some of my friends feel like I’m a train wreck and they’d like to make sure one of the cars doesn’t skid into their lives. I don’t blame them. I don’t want to be anywhere near my train wreck either!
But God isn’t running. He isn’t avoiding the crash site. He isn’t even getting off the train. He is right there with me…trying to push train cars right side up, repairing bent steel, and putting out the fires. I just want to stand to the side and not do the hard work of righting this train…I’m tired. But Jesus says, “Come on! I’m here and together this burden you carry…it’s going to be easy…even light!”
I don’t understand it…and I don’t know what the future holds or how this train is indeed going to be righted or the crash site cleaned up…but I trust Him. And I know, that he will not leave me to my messy life. He is not too overwhelmed by me. He wants to help. In a sense, he commands it…There is no “would you please” or “let me suggest” at the beginning of either of those verses. God says, “Come to me”…”take my yoke”…”humble yourself”…”cast your cares”.
I’m still not exactly sure what that looks like or where to start…but I do know that God is faithful and able and He will help me…he will not leave me He is not at all overwhelmed by my life, even if I am.