About a month ago, I tore my meniscus. My knee has been swollen, stiff and painful ever since. Our kids have quickly figured out that mom has resorted to texting and calling them instead of going to their rooms to let them know they are needed downstairs. Every step takes effort and it is exhausting.
At the end of the day when my knee is twice its normal size, I stand at the base of our stairs looking up at those 16 steps that stand between me and the relief of ice packs and I get discouraged. Constantly changing my routine, not being able to do what I normally do and not knowing how long it will take for things to go back to normal makes me weary.
I wonder if you can relate?
When we first learned what life was going to look like during Covid-19 we discovered the routines we had to change, the restrictions we needed to follow, and all the unknown risks. I remember thinking we would be doing this for 2 weeks and then life would return to normal.
Now, six months later, we are still living with the disruption in school schedules, lack of certain food at the grocery store, businesses being closed and adding masks to our wardrobes.
We haven’t seen our family and friends as much as we would like to. Our community at church is not the same. If we have gathered, masks and distance feels foreign. If we haven’t gathered together yet, we long for a moment of normal. All of these things sustained for a long time can make us weary.
Whether it be the changes that have resulted from Covid, a long-term illness, a friend or family member’s health struggle, a job you are not enjoying, or living with financial hardships, there are many moments in life where we can find ourselves weary.
Moments when we are weary and our hearts are burdened we can be tempted to doubt God’s protection, provision and promises.
What do we do when we doubt God’s care for us?
Jesus was not immune from earthly trouble. Anything that we go through, Jesus understands. He came as a man and engaged with the world, just as we do today. He experienced hunger and fatigue. Just like we are, He was tested both physically and spiritually.
What does Jesus’ humanity mean for us today?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
In our world, we can tend to go at such a fast pace, even during a pandemic, that we get worn down. For me, when I get worn down I can start to lose my focus and it affects my ability to see things the way they really are. It can be difficult to stop and rest.
How many of you have had your body sitting down but emotionally running a marathon? The fast-paced demands of living in these constantly changing times with hectic schedules, jobs, family, activities and friends each overlapping each other can be too much for our body and our mind. We may find that our hearts have become weary.
Recently I had a chat with a friend and she said, “I can hardly keep up! I am so busy and as a result I feel so disconnected from God.” She was weary and burdened.
Have you been there?
What does Jesus say? “Come to me…” This is from the Greek word Deute (Doh-ta) and it is a greeting that literally means “Come—Come Now! I am inviting you to come!”
In Greek it has the feeling of an exclamation, which lets us know that Jesus joyfully welcomes us to come to Him. He is enticing us to come to him.
The words “weary and burdened” describe those who labor and are heavy laden. The word “labor” comes from the Greek word kopiao which describes a person who has become completely exhausted due to non-stop continuous work.
If that is you then Jesus simply says, “Come to me.”
If you respond to this invitation to be renewed in His presence then He promises that He will give you rest. It may not mean a literal nap like we would like at times, but it means to rejuvenate, reinvigorate and revitalize.
He will refresh us so that we can continue in all that he has called us to do. He wants us to be refilled to remain effective for Him.
As busy as life is, allow time to spend with Him. Let go of those things that are burdening you and rest in His presence.
If we break down that verse with the lengthier translation of the individual words, it would read something like this….
Come Now! I am inviting you to come!” If you have become completely exhausted or if you are carrying a heavy load on your back, I will give you rest, refreshment and rejuvenation. I will reinvigorate and revitalize you and give you rest.
Maybe you are thinking, I’d like to do that! I am desperate to have the rest, refreshment and rejuvenation that comes from time with Him.
Yet after the church service is over or the blog is read, it is easy for us to slip back into the demands of our fast-paced lives. Before we know it, time has passed and we have not yet made space in our day to come to Him. And the cycle continues.
How do you break the cycle?
Focus Your Thoughts
What we focus on expands in our lives. While you are driving, instead of engaging in mental multitasking, put on worship music and allow the words of the songs to penetrate your heart and your circumstances.
Pick a particular book of the Bible to read or perhaps find a devotional guide with short entries. I love ‘Jesus Calling’ by Sarah Young. This is a wonderful way to practice Jesus’ invitation to “Come to Him.” Commit to reading–even a little bit–as a way of connecting with God each day. The Word of God is alive and active in our lives. If it feels as if the words on the pages were written especially for you, it’s because they were.
Perhaps by thinking about one thing that you are thankful for each day and praising God for it? We can also practice gratitude in the middle of struggle. Even though my knee has been hurting for over a month now, I am grateful to God for connecting me with my physical therapist. God provided someone with more knowledge and experience than I have and I am thankful for the opportunity to work with him toward a solution.
Allow Jesus to do what only He can do
Last week, we talked about Letting Go. When we release our heavy burdens into the hands of our strong Savior, we can rest and be still. Our shoulders aren’t meant to carry the weight; His shoulders are.