I remember as a child hearing the verse "Come to Me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest… For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." I used to think it had to do with eggs....it was quite a perplexing verse to me. Little did I know that the verse in Matthew would be one I would stand on throughout my life.
At one of my doctor visits the other day, during my long wait, I struck up a conversation with a sweet little elderly lady. She was there with her husband, and her spirit drew me to her. I knew she loved the Lord, I just knew....it was written all over her face. And I was correct. Her husband was very ill, yet her trust in God for all she carried blessed my heart. There was peace all around her. She quoted this verse during our conversation, and my heart just smiled. She knew what trust was all about. If ever there was a definition of pure peace in the midst of a horrible storm....her face was the definition. Her spirit exuded complete trust.
There is a word that I heard someone use one day, “efforting.” It means struggling unnecessarily in an effort to do something. It could be illustrated by pushing a car to your destination when it would be much easier to start the engine and drive it. I wish I could say that I never did this.....but indeed I have. This year I have learned that complete trust is far greater than my “efforting.” Jesus was waiting there all along to help me with that burden. I just needed to give it to him.
Have you ever been stuck in the efforting mode? Ever taken on the cares of the world, those trials you are facing... and taken them on yourself to carry? It sure gets heavy doesn’t it? We can carry so many things....From a delayed flight to a late mortgage payment, from a broken marriage to a term paper due on Friday. A seriously ill family member, loosing a job, loosing a loved one.....even the load of lonliness and confusion..... all of us have times when we are disheartened and discouraged, sometimes to the point of “spiritually bankruptcy.” I have felt that numbness before.
When I find myself "efforting," I think of Jesus’ invitation to let Him take the heavy part of the yoke, leaving me the lighter side. I always invision in my mind that he takes the suitcases of burdens I am carrying, picks them up, walks by my side, and instantly I am filled with peace.
This year I have had to let go of that load daily....sometimes minute by minute. When given bad news, or walking through a tragedy with a friend, or facing a situation that seems much bigger than myself....or even facing the unknown. I have this verse up on my wall, and I claim it every day. It makes it much easier to do a victory dance, and walk in joy and faith when I am not carrying the immense load taking it on myself. It’s amazing how Jesus takes those burdens and always turns them into miracles. Then I find myself asking the same question...”why didn’t I do this sooner?”