The Yoke Among Green Pastures

Today as I contemplate another busy work week coming up besides usual home ‘work’ and church things, and folks here and around who’ve got a ton going on, I can’t help but think about how tired so many of us are.  Not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and some even spiritually.

Fighting physical, mental and/or spiritual battles is tiring work, and there’s got to be a healthy balance of rest, no matter how important your battles are.  Physically as well as spiritually, it could be said that the fields are white for the harvest but the workers are few.  Important things are often times left to the few who are able and willing to take them on.

While family, work, finances, health, and a host of other things weigh us down, many look for ways of coping or temporary fixes. Vacations, often leave people more tired by the time they’re home than when they left.  While unfortunately drugs and alcohol use is up, it doesn’t take anything away, it just dulls it for such a short time. Escaping or taking a walk can help clear your mind, but again it doesn’t make you less weary.   I ought to know, I’ve tried most of those things and more to battle weariness. The more life gets tough, I’ve found more and more that there’s only One real way to find rest.

The Bible isn’t without many assuring verses about rest for the weary.  Both from soldiers such as King David fighting physical battles in Psalms, and by those who were fighting  spiritual battles.  But it also goes for anyone else who is just plain life weary.   So much of regular life can be tiring, and it may be that the reason we grow weary is because God designed us to need rest and rejuvenating. He made our bodies so that they need sleep and peace from daily stresses or job related exhaustion. When we find it hardest to find peace and rest, He gives us a season when we’re in the midst of trials to make us rest for our emotional and spiritual life as well.

I know and understand that people have real weariness,  and yeah, even depression or exhaustion, and sometimes the last thing some want to hear about is God.  But take it from someone who’s wrestled with all of the above and being tired in every way possible…

He does give rest to the weary.  And He is willing to do the same for anyone who asks to rest in Him.

Come to Me, all you 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.

Those are more than just words in a book.  Jesus us telling us that alone, the plowing is impossible, but yoked together with Him, side by side, the row is straight and easier to plow.  When so much happens at a time, it can teach us to depend more on God’s provisions which are eternal. It gives a different perspective and makes us realize that we have much more than just material things. It gives us hope and a different heart and helps us to find encouragement, or be encouragement to others who are struggling just as much.

There’s nothing wrong with depending on our own hard work and ingenuity, but even the best and the strongest leaders…can get weary.

There’s something incredibly calming about remembering that,

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Life isn’t always easy but it doesn’t have to be so hard either. God gives us ways to rest in the knowledge and remembrances that He is still in control, and that while things are tough and tiring, we can find peace and joy through Him and His blessings. It doesn’t make life’s problems disappear, but hope and peace do help combat weariness.  God promises that He is always with us, no matter what we face, even in the darkest valleys.

It’d be good practice for all of us who look to the creator of rest and peace for reminders of how to accept and find rest and peace.  When Jesus was busiest with His ministry, He was constantly surrounded by those who were in need. They dealt with many of the same issues we face today, and He knows all of it.  So how did He find rest?  The Scriptures say that He rarely found any privacy, and when he did,  He didn’t sleep, but rather He prayed through the night. Jesus found His deepest rest in the presence of His Father.

We can find our deepest rest in the presence of our Father too.

Some  words to meditate on, whether you find yourself resting in green pastures, or in the middle of a hectic rat racing kind of day…

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Ex. 14:14

“The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Ex. 33:14

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Ps. 46:1

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things…and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9

Yours and my problems, frustrations, hurts, scars and weariness will still be there, but it sure is comforting to know that God will still be there too, and He knows…

Have a blessed, peaceful and beautiful Monday and week all!

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