If you’ve been reading along, you know my daddy has been in the hospital for much of this week. He got to come home yesterday — something for which we are very grateful.
We’ve thought a lot about his heart this week, with numbers in blood work being examined and oxygen levels measured frequently. He’s probably as glad to get a break from our hovering as he is to be home from the hospital.
Today over lunch with my writer buddy Kristen, I realized I needed a bit of a heart check-up myself. I was sharing the stresses I’ve been dealing with lately and talked myself into running headlong into some issues I needed to spend some time talking over with God. I realized — between bites of my yummy lunch — that I have been laboring pretty hard in my own strength. If you’re a regular reader, you know I’ve had this realization more than once before, but it’s obviously an area I struggle with.
I plan and work and give and serve and care and whatever else until I just wear myself out. And then I start feeling the stress and blaming (at least in my head) other people or other situations for that stress. When it’s really a problem of surrender. Of laboring in my strength, not in His. Of carrying my own yoke rather than taking His yoke. What’s that scripture verse that comes to mind? In Matthew 11:29, Jesus tells us, “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.”
The verse before that says this promise is for those of us who are “weary and heavy laden” or “burdened.” That sure describes me lately, and I imagine there are at least one or two of you who might be struggling with the same feeling.
So, if you’re struggling like me, take heart in the words of Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
When we pray and trust, He offers peace and rest. That’s much better than anything I can work out on my own.