“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
I've already figured out that it will be pretty unrealistic for me to think I could write full-blown essays on different parts of the book of Matthew for the next 40 days- too much life interfering, to many worries, to many responsibilities, deadlines, schedules, pressures etc. etc.
Maybe you can relate. But in the middle of all this torrent, God reminded me of something He's told me over and over again. To stop, to “Be still, and know that I am God; " Psalm 46:10
He was trying to tell me yesterday too, I'm reading Chinese church leader Watchman Nee's 'Sit, Walk, Stand.' As the title suggests, the whole first chapter is about bing still and not doing but just being. This isn't just a reflection of Eastern philosophy, this means resting in Christ's accomplishments and His victory. "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus" ~Ephesians 2:6
Today I was especially anxious about a variety of different stresses. On the drive in to work I was nervously spinning from one radio station to another, not able to listen to the daily news about high oil prices, the struggling economy, political unrest in the Middle East and political polarization here at home. Eventually I landed on Charles Swindoll's show, Insight for Living. Whatever I might say about his mega-church and media empire- whenever I've heard him teaching, he has taught God's Word.
This morning he was talking about one of my favorite parts of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount, but for whatever reason, he deviated a bit from Matthew 5 to Jesus promise in Matthew 11.
He explained that the Greek word for "gentle" that Jesus uses here is the same used on horses that have been domesticated (broke). Surely an analogy that a Texan like Swindoll can appreciate. His point was that like a trained horse, Jesus retains all of the power and strength, but unlike a wild mustang, He also has self-control.
If we can't handle our load, it may just be because we're working too hard, we want to do things OUR way and we want to be in control. We aren't humble or gentle, we're proud and maybe just flailing about recklessly. When things go bad, we feel like we're spiraling out of control. But He has already gone through the worst stress and survived. He has already defeated every possible enemy and won.
If we will just calm down and trust Him to help us carry our worries and our woes, guess what? He will teach us His ways and He will get us through whatever we're going through. Our problems are temporary but He is eternal.
And, if instead of undertaking a behemoth hermetical study of a two or three chapters worth of of teaching, we decide just to share how He used a few short verses to work in a real and practical way in your life... He can turn that into a whole long essay and not merely a pithy quote. It's crazy, it's like multiplying bread and fish. It's not what we can do alone with difficulty- it's what He can do with us easily, if we'll just be humble and calm and trust in Him.
Me ka pule,