Monday, July 19, 2010

God Talks on Mondays

Warning: First paragraph transparency level, 7

Last week stunk! Yesterday was Sunday, and I woke up feeling exhausted and annoyed from the drama of the previous week. I wasn't looking forward to gathering for worship at church. I just wanted to get it over with. (I'm human, acknowledge and move on.) The 'stinkiness' didn't end at church. Chris and I were both frustrated, resulting in a ruined lunch. Can I just say, "Aaagh!" I wanted to come home, and drown myself in some mind-numbing television. Chris wanted to watch Golf--so I guess we both won. Things are looking up! Honestly, by the end of lunch, we had said our apologies and we moved on from the frustration of the day. :)

Thankfully God speaks on Monday mornings too.

"Come to me all of 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

What a lovey-dovey passage of scripture. It sounds so encouraging and "comfy". THEN...the going gets really tough. Things in life are pushed so far it is difficult to trust that walking with God will give us a life that is free and light. In the toughest of circumstances we are left with the question: "What in the world do you mean by easy? Because I'm with you God, and it doesn't seem true as far as my eyes can see!"

When we read God's word, we realize that there is no promise that following him was going to be an cushy life. In fact, if we do some 'not too in-depth' character studies, we soon realize that God is forever asking his followers to do hard (if not close to impossible) things.

Abraham, leave your home and family. I'll tell you where you're going later. Also, don't forget "sacrifice your son Isaac".

David, take three small rocks and kill the giant.

Esther, approach your husband the King without being summoned, even though the results often lead to death.

Hosea, marry that prostitute woman and redeem her with your love.

Jesus, give up your glory. Live among the wicked. Let yourself be tortured and killed.

God's ways seem anything but easy and light. We see over and over again that he asks his followers to live dangerous, risk-filled lives! Could it be that your job, your family, your crazy situation has been purposefully placed in your life for a grow you, or to reveal God's glory. So, how do we rest in him, through the risk and danger? Or, how do we trust him during the challenging circumstances that we face? How do we exchange our worry, weariness and burdens for Christ's peace, joy and rest?

The answer is simple. We need to stop picking up our old yoke. I wonder if sometimes we think Christ's easy yoke just feels too light and awkward. Our's is heavy and painful, but we've been trained so long under it, that it feels like a fit. So, we make the choice to carry our burdens around with us when Jesus offers a renewed life.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly. Matthew 11:28-30, The Message

So, there ya go. That's what God said to me today. I'm with Him and my difficult, risky, sometimes impossible life is easy and light.

(Side note: I know there is a lot more theology behind the yoke and how it relates to the rabbi's, and their additional rules and regs for people to follow. But, that was not the topic of this blog. Rather, the practical aspect of the weary and burdened finding rest in Christ.)

No comments: