This past week was long and hard. Each day was more busy than the last. My husband was able to get a lot of harvesting done, which is good. But on the flip side, that means I saw him very little. Hard times in the Johnson house.
I'm just reminded that God reaches out, calls out to those who are weary.
Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."
Jesus invites the weary and stressed to come to Him. He wants us to bring our concerns and worries to Him.
So why don't we do that more? Why do we go through life stressed and anxious?
Sometimes in the busyness of life, we just forget. We just try to do it on our own first instead of coming to Jesus first. What energy we waste when we try to do it ourselves! The old hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" says, "Oh, what peace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer." Those words are so true. We do not get to experience the peace that Jesus came to this earth to bring because we simply do not go to Him first.
There is a little catch to Jesus' offer of rest for the weary. Did you notice it? We have to take His yoke upon us. This is not an egg yolk, folks. I looked up the definition, even though I was pretty sure what it meant, but it never hurts to be specific.
A yoke is a "wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull." It's from the Latin word jungere which means "to join." (info from Google Dictionary)
So Jesus asks us to join our lives with Him, but why? Is it so He can give us a list of rules to follow and more stuff to do? No way! It is so He can teach us to be more like Him. And when we become more like Him, our lives just get better.
Jesus is the most humble and gentle teacher you will ever have, friends. He is not forceful. He lets you come to Him. And when we do, we are rewarded with that rest in the midst of the storms of life.
These verses are just a great reminder for me to go to Jesus first. When I come to Him, He takes the weight of my worries and stresses onto His shoulders. I can breathe. I have peace. And, as His word says, He gives me rest. Real rest. Rest that can even help overcome a sleepless night.
Some people hesitate to join up with anyone who says, "Be joined with me. Let me show you the way to live." I get that. Humans have a rebellious nature deep down. But Jesus promises something way better than the pride of "doing it on my own." True rest and true fellowship with the God who created you and loves you more than His own life.
I will leave you with the words to another little hymn I sang in the little white church. I am making it my prayer, and I ask you to do the same. Let's experience God's rest.
"I cast all my cares upon You.
I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet.
And anytime I don't know what to do,
I will cast all my cares upon You."
So, lately, I have not really known how to feel about the weekend. Most people are so excited for Friday night to come that they start counting down on Wednesday or Thursday. We all have heard the phrase, "Well, we're over the hump! The weekend's almost here!"
That's great if you feel that way, but I really don't. I do enjoy not setting an alarm to get the kids up and around for school. That part is nice. And the kids are home so there is usually no where to rush off to in the morning. But, on the other hand, the kids are all home.
I sound like a crabby mom, but Friday nights and Saturdays are hard for my kids. They are completely exhausted from school. Most Friday evenings are spent consoling my kindergarten daughter, telling her, "Yes, let's just put you to bed!"
The last Friday this happened, I had the brilliant idea that it should be bath night. That was a terrible idea, actually. My daughter just stood in the shower FOREVER! I asked why she was taking so long, and it was because, "I am just so tired!" (Read that with the sound of someone bawling in your head and you will have the full effect.)
After the kids spend Saturday doing quality, imaginative playing, fighting, going outside, and doing countless art projects, my house looks like a zoo. Sunday is a rush from church to lunch to naps and to getting ready for the next week of school.
So, yes, when the weekend is over, I need another weekend to recover! I need a weekend to get over my weekend!
There has been a verse this past week that has been speaking to me so much. And I'm so thankful for those little verses that God points out, because they are my means of recovery. God's word is refreshing and relaxing. "How sweet are your words to me; they are sweeter than honey" (Psalm 119:103).
The truth that God has given my to cling to lately is found in John 6:29. "Jesus told them, 'This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one He has sent.'"
In our busy lives, we often feel ourselves straining and striving. We try to keep up with our busy families. We try to be involved and volunteer and donate. We try to engage our kids in enriching activities. We try and we try and we try some more.
But God says, "You don't have to try with me. There is only one thing I ask of you." God' only work that He requires of us is that we believe in the one He sent. We must believe in Jesus. That's it. That's all we need to do to be right with God.
Now, don't get me wrong, God loves it when we serve in His name. But that serving should come out of the overflow of our hearts. And that comes with maturity and growth as a believer.
You may not believe me, but Jesus said so. And for further proof, I offer another scene from the Bible. As Jesus was hanging on the cross, He was surrounded by two criminals. These men had done terrible things and deserved punishment. One mocked Jesus, refusing to acknowledge that He was the Son of God. But the other criminal knew that Jesus had done nothing wrong. He feared God and he knew who Jesus was.
He said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom." And Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:42-43).
Notice that Jesus did not tell the criminal to first go get baptized and teach a Sunday school class and then come back and they'd talk. No, the belief of the criminal was enough. Jesus accepted him into His kingdom because he believed. That's all it took.
And that's all it takes for us. I'm so thankful that God does not add a to-do list when we follow Him. He works on us and gives us the heart to serve Him, but actions and striving are not what He wants.
So as I work to recover from the weekend, I am so thankful that I don't have to work for God. He just wants our hearts and our true faith in Jesus, the one He sent. And to me, that is a breath of fresh air!
Hi, I'm Kristen! Just a girl who loves all things Jesus, family, music and food!
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