Jesus spoke these words to the crowds that followed him thoughout Galilee over 2,000 years ago. He spoke these words to me, personally, this morning. It’s not the first time I have turned to this passage of scripture and certainly not the first time I needed to hear these words. But, I am thinking it must be the first time that the phrase, “learn from me“, leaped off the page. Somehow, I’ve always managed to stumble past that part and jump to the happy ending: “you will find rest for your souls.” I didn’t realize there was “learning” involved. That sounds like work!
Work, after all, is my reason for needing rest! Or so I thought. It is this “burden” of work and ministry that has made me so “weary”. Or is it? As I was in the midst of pointing a finger at the success of ministry as the source of my burden, I suddenly realized that I was pointing in the wrong direction! It is failure that has plagued me with a heavy burden, a weary soul.
My mother’s failing health. My fear of failing to do and to be what is required of me, as her daughter, as her caretaker. The fear for her future, her safety. The fear of what this means for my future. The impending decisions of how, and where, she will live what remains of her life. And, how she will react to these decisions made on behalf of her own best interest.
“Learn from me…gentle…humble…rest.” These words of Jesus pointed me to Peter’s words to women in I Peter 3:3-6:
“Your beauty…should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…do not give way to fear.”
Aha! Another leap from the page: FEAR IS THE CULPRIT! It rivals submission. It robs us of rest. It cloaks our joy in the Lord with a blanket of despair.
This morning, I learned that when I feel weary and burdened, I must translate my fear into trust.
1. Identify the real source of my burden.
2. Approach it/him/her with a gentle spirit.
3. Surrender the situation with a humble heart.
4. Take it to the Lord, and rest in knowing He is in control. “Come to me…and I will give you rest.“
“Lord, I am so thankful that I can come to you in my weariness, bring you my burdens, and find rest for my soul. I receive your yoke this morning: the yoke that is easy, the burden that is light. Thank you for teaching me new lessons in loving and living like you.”
Cynthia (Cindy) Stiverson is a speaker, writer, and artist. In 1998, she founded Woven: Women of Virtue Network, a spiritual formation and friendship ministry. She pastors the women at Newark Church of the Nazarene in Ohio.
Cindy considers raising her daughter, speaker/author Nicole Braddock Bromley, to be her greatest contribution to the world. She loves the men in her life, hubby Mark, grandbabes Jude and Isaac, and son-in-law Matthew. www.WovenWomen.blogspot.com www.CynthiaStiverson.com