“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
The vestiges of Hurricane Florence have finally reached us here in northern Virginia, and it has been raining consistently for several days now. I’m one of those weirdos who love rain, but even I have my limits, and something about this instance of overcast weather has been particularly gloomy and taxing on my patience. This is also an excellent analogy for my life recently on a greater scale. I feel so overwhelmed by my sins, my destructive habits and patterns, and the massive amount of energy it seems to take to be fruitful in light of my weaknesses. All of these are the inevitable effects of my failure to abide in Christ and surrender to His sovereign will. I “lay it all down at His feet” only to snatch it up again momentarily.
Our tendency in disappointment, frustration, and weariness is to focus inwardly and muster up some resolve to see change. We are obsessed, especially in American church culture, with the idea of having a breakthrough every five minutes and refusing to be brought low for any significant amount of time. Ironically, the best thing we can do with our frustrations is to get our eyes off of ourselves and our circumstances and remember how small we are, how powerful God is, and how faithful He is—especially in our weakness—to reveal Himself to us.
This revelation rarely happens when or how we would prefer it, but we can trust that He will bring it about. We must stop laboring and striving in our own power, heaping burdens on our own shoulders. This is not what the Christian life is meant to look like.
Father, please slow me down and turn my eyes toward You. You are faithful even when I’m not, and without this truth I have no hope. Empower me through the Holy Spirit to be fruitful and experience sanctification, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
What areas are you most tempted to labor and strive in? If you’re having trouble identifying them, it may help to remember that these are often the areas in which we experience the most exhaustion, frustration, and burnout.