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Tossing and Turning

Restless nights, busy days, more restless nights - does this describe any of our lifestyles? I know I can run so hard that I am exhausted at the end of the day, only to be too tired to actually get a good night's rest. My body yearns for a little rest, but my mind just won't shut down. I toss and turn - hoping to drift into a restful slumber - but realizing it evades me more than I thought it would. There are all kinds of definitions for 'being tired', but not all of them end with us getting the rest we actually desperately need. 

Come to me and I will give you rest—all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.” (Matthew 11:28 TLB)

Weariness of soul really has no other resting place until we are willing to let go of the burdens we feel we must bear alone. It was George Bernard Shaw who told us, "People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them." We must willingly put down what we are carrying - God doesn't force it out of our hands. This is where we most often fail - we just cannot let go. Why do we hold on so tightly to what gives us so much pain, anxiety, or weariness of soul? I think it is perhaps because we have become so 'used to it' that we cannot imagine life without it!

Some have no trouble letting go - either because they are so 'over' carrying it all alone, or perhaps they realize God means what he says when he says he will take us out from under what we cannot possibly bear up under any longer. Is it that they have 'super-faith'? Their faith is not likely to be much different from our own, but they are just willing to let go of the burden. Maybe they have had enough of it, or they just want to finally understand rest. Perhaps they are hoping for some other burden more easily born. It all starts with the obedient step of laying down what we were never meant to carry.

I wonder if God's 'yoke' fits so perfectly because he is right there teaching us how to live within the confines of the yoke? Maybe we have tried so hard to live within the confines of our own yoke for so long we cannot imagine a life of boundaries as very liberating. It can be when the boundaries come with the instruction for both how to live within them and why it is important to do so! We might not see another 'yoke' of any sort as very promising, but let me remind you there is no other who will be as gentle and loving in his care over our lives. His 'yoke' only produces rest - the rest we so desperately long for in the first place. Just sayin!

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