The Very Best News for the Weary and the Burdened (November to Remember — 11.30.2014)
Today’s Scripture — 11.30.2014
“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 for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30
This is how I’m hard-wired — driven, goal-oriented, focused. Yeah, it’s in my DNA. But it was also in my upbringing. Mom and Dad taught the importance of a good work ethic.
What happened later? It wasn’t my parents’ fault. My parents taught me about a work ethic, not a work-as-worth ethic.
Yet I grew up to be a woman who measured all the worth of her life by all the work of her life.
Do you know someone like that? Is that someone you?
We’re weary aren’t we? This life of doing, more than being, has stretched us so thin that we’re about to break.
We know better, but we fall into deep grooves carved by living one way for so many years, so fast, so driven. The crazy thing is, so much of our striving has come out of a place of deep love for our people. We’ve wanted to make our people happy. We’ve wanted to meet the expectations. We’ve wanted to check off all the boxes. And it became about how many tasks we can wring out of our over-stuffed days — until we’re wrung dry, like dishrags hanging limp on the faucet.
Love can turn into hard labor.
Sure, there are always these seasons –where we have to work overtime, burn the candle at both ends, wake up three times a night with the crying child, and push until we can’t push anymore. And rightly so.
But they should remain only that — seasons.
For some of us? Busy becomes more than a season; busy becomes the wheels that move the whole life forward.
I was a news reporter. And the lights would dim above my cubicle. The newsroom would exhale all the other people out into the streets. Yet there I remained, stacking one more paragraph on top of another. Even at church, I said yes to every committee, every potluck dinner, every mission, every class, every request from every person I wanted to make happy. I lost myself in all the doing.
But one day the wheels fell off of the life, sending me careening into the ditch. A happy accident. A happy wreck.
Sometimes you need to get wrecked into rest.
Stilled, you can hear Him saying it, straight into your knower: “Come to me, weary soul. I will give you rest.”
Jesus isn’t offering rest as a nice suggestion. Rest is His command. And it is life. He commands: “Come to me.”
And when we come, we enter into this promise: “I will give you rest.” Not: maybe I will give you rest.” Not: “if you work hard first, I’ll give you rest.” Not: “if you get your act together, I’ll give you rest.” Not: “when all of the tiny boxes are filled in, I’ll think about giving you some rest.”
But this: I. will. give. you. rest.
We are a tired people, a weary people, and we are being called to enter His rest, today. Right now.
Let the agenda die for a moment. Let the alarms on your iPhone go quiet. Breathe again. Make room for you. Remember who He said you were: Preapproved. Held. His.
This — this! — is His desire for you: To rest, not rush. To abide, not “achieve.”
This is real life, right here, happening today — these precious moments so quickly passing by.
Dear God, Don’t let the wheels of our busy lives drive us away from You.
And where are we going with all this driving? Where are we trying to arrive?
We’ve got to know this: we have already arrived. We have arrived in Him, in the Person of Jesus, who dwells in us. Our striving is over.
I look out the window now, and see frothy clouds lumbering by, moved by a hidden wind. Sitting here, I imagine Heaven, where our eternal rest awaits. But we don’t have to wait for Heaven to truly rest.
We pray this every day: Thy Kingdom Come, on earth as it is in Heaven.
“Heaven come down,” I say, like a prayer.
And God seems to be saying in response: “Here you go, daughter. An answer to your prayer: an easy yoke. Everything you’ve always wanted — happiness, contentment, approval, love, validation, security, … rest — it is all right here, waiting for you. It is already yours,
Believe, walk free, and live PreApproved.”
This post concludes our month-long series, “A November to Remember: Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes.
And what a more fitting place to end? But with rest. True, abiding rest. I pray that we can each rest today, and enter into the Advent season renewed and awakened to a God who loves us, and likes us, and invites us to enjoy Him forever — starting always with today.
I love you all…