My wife and I have the absolute sweetest children. They are both so smart and they love to laugh, and run, and play, and their little imaginations are always so expansive. There are times, however, that those little lights aren’t as bright, they’re more fussy and not as willing to share. This usually occurs because they have gotten over tired. The concept of over tired is described as having a cup, and all day you’re pouring into that cup and when you sleep you empty the cup. On the other hand, sometimes you can overfill that same cup. When the cup becomes overfilled, especially for the younger one, bedtime even becomes a hassle because he has become like the characters in Kenny Rogers’ hit song “The Gambler,” too tired to sleep. Why, if you are tired, would you fight sleep? He has his own room, and a bed, and we control the temperature to make it the prime sleeping conditions, why fight the sleep?! As odd as it may sound, we are often the very same way in our own lives.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT) says “ 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”
It begins with Jesus simply saying if you are tired, come to me and I will give you rest. We can rest in him. The things that cause us to be spiritually tired, he will take those burdens off of us. The burdens that are specifically stated in the Bible were speaking of religious custom. The religious leaders had requirements and ways of doing things that made religion seem cumbersome, but Jesus shows that a relationship with him is so much easier. When Jesus speaks of the yoke, he is making a reference to a harness that is placed onto two farm animals to plow fields. This is a metaphor to connection. So Jesus is saying the connection with him is the easier path to salvation rather that trying to follow all of the Old Testament laws and traditions (there were over 600). It’s about the formation of relationship rather than following the mold of religion.
So often we are spiritually burned out. We don’t bring things to God because we don’t feel like we are good enough Christians or we feel that the issue is too minor to worry our big God with. Because of this, we end up spiritually tired. We may sleep an entire night and not wake up rested because there is worry plaguing our minds. I’m reminded of the second stanza in the popular hymn “What a friend we have in Jesus” that says “Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pains we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer” God has provided us with everything we need in him and all we have to do is go to Him for it.
To wrap up I’ll share a revelation I had the other week. My toddler son and I were upstairs in my office one day. I was trying to study a bit and he wanted to play on my keyboard. I, of course, cut it on and let him bang away at it. I then thought that this would be a good bonding activity and I proceeded to go over and try to play with him. He doesn’t even want my hands on the keyboard. He literally screams every time I get too close. I then say to him “I’m trying to help you.” I actually play those instruments and, although I do want him to learn one day, they are better suited in my hands for now. In that instance God showed me that we are like the young child. We think that we are handling situations and to us, it may look or sound good but the things that we are trying to handle, are better suited in His hands. He wants to help us and has the ability to help us but we have to release it to him.
This week I urge you to release some things to God whether it be at your home, or on your job, or even things dealing with your mental health, release them to God and allow him to be Jehovah Shalom, the God of peace, in your life.