Saturday, February 14, 2015

Weary of the fight ...

After working with people for nearly 30 years as a minister and a counselor, I'm convinced we human beings are far more fragile than we think.

Far more than is represented in the hyperbolic platitudes about human strength posted across social media every day.

And likely far more than what you think you are.

Even the strongest and bravest among us can easily be bowled over by life, as if hit by a speeding train.

Life is bigger than us, and stronger than us, and at times, we feel our weaknesses deeply.

Sometimes, we're just weary of the fight.

Our Savior understands that, and He has a remedy for our weaknesses ...

"So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most," Hebrews 4:14-16.

Jesus spoke to this great need of a source of strength, refreshing and respite personally ...

"Then Jesus said, 'Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light," Matthew 11:28-30.

Many of us have probably memorized part of the above scripture, but we often think of or reflect on it more theoretically than practically --- practically meaning to actually apply it.

When we are "weary to the bone," as if our very souls are just tired of the fight of life, we tend to despair, withdraw, and do just about anything other than what scripture implores us to do --- go to Jesus. Time with Jesus, praying and delving into His word, communing with Him and refreshing our faith in and reliance upon Him, can lift us back up on our feet and renew us to continue the fight. He wants to teach us how we can persevere just as He had when He walked this earth, and He wants to provide the strength we don't have.

Read Matthew 11:28-30 again. Now consider this story from Mark Guy Pearse, who had preached a sermon on Christ's invitation to the weary ...

"I had finished my sermon when a good man had come to me and said, 'I wish I had known what you were going to preach about. I could have told you something,'

"'Well, my friend,' I said, 'may I have it still?'

"'Do you know why His yoke is light, sir?'

""Well, because the good Lord helps us carry it, I suppose.'

"'No sir,' he said, shaking his head. 'I think I know better than that. You see, when I was a boy at home, I used to drive the oxen, and the yoke was never made to balance as you said. Father's yokes were always made heavier on one side than the other. Then, you see, we would put a weak bullock in alongside a strong bullock; the light end would come on the weak ox, the heavier end on the stronger one. That's why the yoke is easy and the burden is light, because the Lord's yoke is made after the same pattern, and the heavy end is upon his shoulder'."

When we're weary of the fight, Jesus invites us to come to Him, and He says He will:
  • Give us rest.
  • Take His yoke upon us, that way He can be the stronger one pulling with us.
  • From His humble and gentle heart, He wants to teach us, that way we can learn how to overcome and endure during the trials and struggles of life.
  • Doing things His way, with His yoke, is easy and light compared to what the world will pour upon us should we try to stand on our own, or even with just the support of other human beings. Even that isn't enough!
Are you feeling like you're weary of the fight? I encourage you to turn to Jesus today.

Scotty

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