I thought I knew what I would write today, but in my quiet time with Jesus that plan changed.
This past Friday in my Celebrate Recovery group, I was supposed to give the lesson but had to ask out of it, so my brother Pete did instead. The lesson was action and connected to step 3 in recovery, the step in every fellowship which involves surrendering our wills, and specifically in CR reads “We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.” Something there about a decision we all need to make. A decision many of us make and then go back over and over and revoke, we make a decision to turn our lives and our wills over, then the going gets a little tough, the water gets choppy, the waves start coming over the bow, and we take that wheel back thinking we can do better. Part of the lesson included this scripture which had never affected me so personally – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
I say this had never affected me so personally, since I began the journey I’m on now following Jesus, I’ve never been so heavy laden and in need of rest. Because I’ve never so completely tried to take back control for myself. So this scripture hit me Friday night, I thought I might reflect on it this week, the weekend came and I still was holding onto that wheel fighting for myself and my rights, and come Monday morning I had forgotten. I had forgotten Jesus says Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. I was fighting it, doing on my own power, fully in control of my own life and will. As such, come Monday morning I had forgotten this message and went a different way.
I am, however, developing into my spiritual discipline of following a morning liturgy of prayer. So yesterday during a portion of that time when I just sit quietly and maybe listen, this lesson came back to me. (Yes, this experience was actually yesterday morning, but when I was nearly done with the message I jumped between apps to check a message that came through, and got back to the Bible app to find the whole thing lost. Which, of course, completely irritated me and I just more fully grabbed the wheel again.) Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. So through my morning prayer and meditation, a lesson which I had been too stubborn and caught up in my own worries to bring myself came back around to me, and I am shown again that I need to go back to step 3, and make a decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God. Because when I grab the wheel, I wind up laboring way too hard and getting no where. I become very heavy laden. I am laboring, I am heavy laden, and boy do I ever need rest! Jesus tells me to Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. I need to learn from Jesus, I need to be forgiven sinner (which I am) who forgives sinners (not so much…). I need to learn from the one who came from God, who was God, yesterday came not to be served but to serve. The one who the night before his own crucifixion did not have his feet washed, but washed his disciples feet. The one who ride into Jerusalem not on the Great War horse, but the foal of a donkey. This is the one to whom I will come to find rest for my soul.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. My yoke, my burden, has been anything but easy. My burden has been heavy and crushing, because I’m doing it in my own. I have the power, I’m in control. As long as that is the case, I just make a bigger mess out of things. So like Jesus, I need to get off my war horse and into the donkey. I need to let go if my pride and humble myself in submission to his plan. I can only trust in him.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalms 20:7 ESV. Back to step 3. It’s a decision I have to make. I’ve trusted in chariots, I’ve trusted in horses, but my peace can only come from my Lord and savior Jesus Christ!!
Thanks for letting me share!!
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.””
Matthew 11:28-30 ESV