I sit down with a heavy sigh, trying to understand my mood. My head is full—full of the looming list of responsibilities that seem never-ending. Full of past mistakes and current disappointments. My thoughts wander over to the funeral I attended in the morning.
My friend was a good man. He lived a full life. I am envious of him. He’s home. He’s finished the race and crossed the finish line. He gets to be with Jesus every single day. In person. No more sorrow. No more pain. No more worry. Just unending joy. This sounds indescribably wonderful to me.
My joy is momentarily gone. I just want a nap. But there are bills to pay that are calling my name. Challenges confronting me. Every piece of me wants to put my head down on the desk and mentally escape.
Two thoughts are competing in my mind right now. The first is about discipline, and the real need to fight back emotions with action and truth. To not let them hold sway over me. The second is the devotional I read this morning about God understanding my humanness when I find my mind wandering during prayer. The struggles when the weariness of this life begin to seep into my bones. The smallest of smiles teases about my lips at that thought. I reach toward the joy I sense in knowing God is so kind, so patient with my limitations and weaknesses. I sit in that thought a while, letting it percolate and brew like a good cup of coffee.
Why are you so good to me, Lord? Your patience, your love are beyond measure. Your shoulders are broader than eternity. Your sacrifice for my freedom is beyond my understanding. Truth is I hate the days I start to carry things instead of choosing to trust you to carry them. Things like the bills. The challenges. The past and the future. Yet here I am sitting with you, right here in the now.
)In the now I remember your sweet promise that you feed the birds of the air and clothe the flowers of the field, so there is no need to worry. I am worth so much more to you than they. I think of David’s cry to you, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4). I am in awe that you care so much about me. Despite my failures. Despite my doubts and fears.
I lift my head up, gently squaring my shoulders. A song slips through my mind like a warm summer breeze. “Love, come rattle this cage and set me free. Lord, all of my fears like Jericho walls gotta come down, come down. Oh Lord, my prison turns to ruin when your love moves in. All of my fears like Jericho walls gotta come down.” (Andrew Ripp, “Jericho”).
I face my day with a new resolve, ready to walk once again in freedom.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT Do your thoughts ever jump right in your face, arresting your attention and beckoning you toward a wrong direction? In those moments, what do you do to fight back? What scriptures do you run to?
For me, sometimes I find the best answer in scripture. Other times it’s prayer or spending time in praise. Still, there are moments when it’s listening to a song or reading a poem or quote that seems to speak to my very soul. I try to take them out like a rolodex, sorting through until one finally clicks in and chases away the lies, replacing them with God’s beautiful, freeing truth.
The song I shared has been a good one to run to for me in this season (you can listen for yourself: “Jericho” by Andrew Ripp). So has Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:29-30, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy and my burden is light.” Both remind me to open my hands back up, let go of the burdens I’m trying to carry, and deposit them right back where they belong—in Jesus’ capable hands.
PRAYER Lord, my soul feels weary sometimes, like the weight of this world is too much. Thank you for constantly reminding me that you died to take that very burden from me, allowing me to be free. I love knowing that the moment I ask, you are literally moving heaven and earth for my answer, even if I don’t see the fruit of it right away. I humbly ask you to continue to mold me to your image, to teach me the secret paths of peace you reveal to me in my most tumultuous moments. Always you are good, Lord. I praise you for your lovingkindness, your faithfulness, and the freedom found within your truths. Allow me to walk under your gentle yolk this week, Papa. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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