Thursday, August 27, 2015

Paradox Defined ~ The Light Burden

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong/
  “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 NIV

God, how does that even make sense?

You have given me these burdens and yet I'm supposed to believe that they are "lighter" because I have you in my life?
Work, doctor appointments, therapy appointments, meltdowns, extra time for homework, extra time for the "much needed routines", pets, housework, friends, spouse, volunteer tasks...
God, how am I supposed to believe that YOU can help me with ANY of this?  I cannot see you, hear you, nor feel you.

But wait...what was it you said here in the beginning?  Jesus said, "Come to me...".
When was the last time I CAME to YOU? 
When was the last time I scheduled time with YOU the way I just scheduled lunch with my girlfriend, or scheduled a phone call with my daughter's teacher? 
When was the last time I made sure to read YOUR WORD before I went to bed rather than scrolling through Twitter or Facebook "one last time"?
When was the last time I CAME to YOU? 
How can I see, hear or feel God if I never COME to Him?  How can He be a prominent being in my life if I never give Him the time that He deserves?  I will never lighten my burden if I don't make my relationship with God my ULTIMATE priority.

Jesus said in this entry that we should take His yoke upon us.  He says HIS yoke is EASY.  But, while we would normally picture an actual YOKE here; the thing that is placed over the oxen in order to share the load that they are carrying together, according to Strong's concordance, the term YOKE here is actually referring to: 
troublesome laws imposed on one, esp. of the Mosaic law, hence the name is so transferred to the commands of Christ as to contrast them with the commands of the Pharisees which were a veritable 'yoke'; yet even Christ's commands must be submitted to, though easier to be kept (Strongs G2218)
Wow...He really means it when He says His yoke is lighter...I don't have anything to fear no matter what is going on in my life because I know I am victorious in Christ.  He has covered my shortcomings, my sins, my faults; He has covered it all with His blood and has made me righteous. He is merciful and loving and I can REST in HIM.  

On Monday morning, after a Sunday sermon on how to carve out time for God every day, my daughter and I took the time to read the first part of Psalm 107 together:   
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1 NIV
That was a great way to start the thanks, and reflecting on how He has carried us through hard times.  So, Tuesday morning I pulled up my Glo Bible app and selected a reading plan to read the book of Psalms. The app set a goal for me of 7 minutes a day (to finish the book in 49 days).  Now, if I can't give God 7 minutes a day, I'm in pretty bad shape.  (Truly, His IS a light yoke...)

So, both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings I started my day by reading through the first few Psalms in the Bible.  Tuesday morning, this verse jumped off the page at me:  
 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. Psalm 3:5 NIV
What an amazing verse to meditate on throughout the day.  And it was a very challenging day; those words carried me, and kept me hopeful.

Wednesday, this verse resonated with me, and it turned out I had several friends who really needed it! 
 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;  you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.  Psalm 10:17 NIV
And this is how God can carry our burdens when we choose FIRST to come to Him.  We may think it sounds too good to be true, but God stands by His promises.  If we run to Him, He will wrap His arms around us and comfort us.  He gives us everlasting hope.

Pray:  Heavenly Father, Jesus my Savior~you are ALWAYS there, waiting for me to come to you so you can take my burdens and lighten my load.  Why do I fight so hard to meet up to everyone else's "laws" when YOU have given me a new yoke; a lighter yoke?  Help me to remember you FIRST; that you are second to no one and nothing.  I want to schedule you in as my priority meeting each and every day.  Amen.

~Tammie Hefty

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