Tuesday, July 22, 2008

His Burden is Light

I haven't written much about what the Lord is teaching me lately. I don't really have a reason, I just know that I have to feel inspired to write those things and I haven't felt that. I would have felt like I was forcing words just to say something deep or spiritual, but that is not the way God works in my life. I don't have to force words, He gives me words, He teaches my soul. I am not a very deep thinker by nature and I am not the best at putting words to what God is teaching me. I can tell when I write something that is from Him, because the words just flow easily.

I don't have a clear message to articulate today, but I felt the urge to write so we will see where this goes. I have felt so near to the Lord lately, He is with me. He is speaking and I pray that I can listen, that I can hear and follow where He leads. This thing called spiritual growth, or maturity, or whatever you want to call it is really such a mystery to me. Every time I walk away from a situation in my life and I speak to God seeking to know what that was all about, asking Him to help me see why He ordained that situation I realize that I have been changed. Every time I think to pray when I am feeling frustrated by my kids, I know that I have been changed. Every time I am driving down the street and my thoughts turn to God, I know that He is alive and working.

You see, that is not me. I am not a person who prays throughout the day, I am not a person who seeks to parent in a way that is pleasing to my Lord and points my kids to the Lord. Well, I guess that may be confusing because it is me, but it only by Gods grace. It is not of me! I get so caught up on comparisons sometimes. Not necessarily material comparisons (although I am just as prone to that as the next guy), but spiritual or emotional. I watch other people and think, God why can't I be calm loving and seasoned with grace with my kids? Why did you not make me more like that? Why can't I be more like so and so or like that person over there? Mind you I forget that I am the person I am, I am the mom that I am, because that is who the Lord has made me and not because of who I am by my very nature. When I play the comparison game I am really saying I am not happy with the way I was made, I am not happy with who I am. When I go to the Lord and thank Him for the changes He has made and is continuing to make and I ask Him to further change me in the areas He is convicting me then I can be grateful for what He has done and thankful for the journey He has me on.

I ran into a woman last night and as I ended the conversation with her I found myself thinking about a possible future event, wondering how I would walk through that and doubting my ability to say yes to the Lord if He called me to that. I stayed there for several hours, feeling burdened and weak. Mind you I had just lead a bible study with several girls and as we discussed things that drive us and push us, idols that we worship (things like approval from others and our our appearances), I took them to the verse that says "Come to me those who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-30). I reminded them that these burdens and pressures we live under are not of the Lord! I told them how special this verse has been to me over the past year and how the Lord has continually brought me back to it. Now, a few hours later, look where I am sitting. I am feeling burdened. I am feeling like I cannot follow the Lord, like I am too weak to take up my cross and walk the path the Lord may be leading me to ( again, notice I said may lead me does involve a direction he is leading but it not a path I am being asked to walk today). I am sitting and feeling discouraged that I can't really do it, I can't really Follow Him in all that entails. I am not capable of being His disciple.

And you know what, I am not. I cannot follow the Lord in my own strength. I can't but I do know that the Lord is and will continue to prepare me for the path He has for me. He has done it in the past and He will do it again. I know that I worship a God who created the heavens and the earth...He is capable of strengthening me and erasing my doubt. And even if He doesn't fully erase my doubt He will strengthen me as I walk through the doubt.

We just watched a movie with a group from church based on the book of John. The thing that stood out to me as I watched was Peter. The Lord told Peter that He would betray Him and He said no Lord, I am willing to die for you. I can relate to that. In a moment of clarity and closeness to the Lord I will lay it all down, I will say Yes Lord, whatever you have for me that is what I desire. I want nothing more than to know you and follow you no matter what that means, but then He asks me to proclaim Him, to put action to that statement and I fail. It may be something as simple as feeling God asking me to say something to someone about who He is or asking me to pray with someone and in that moment, I choose to deny Him and what He asks, and seek comfort out of fear. That is really what Peter did. He denied Him, not once but three times in a row. He chose to let fear reign. How I relate to that. But I found so much comfort in a conversation that the Lord had with Him after he had risen. He asked Peter three times if He loved Him and 3 times Peter said yes. Jesus followed that up by telling him to tend to His flocks. 3 times He asked. 3 times Peter had denied Him. He never condemned Him, but He gave Peter a chance at redemption. What grace, mercy, love, and compassion Jesus showed. Yes, Peter was weak and He failed, but the Lord used that as a chance to strengthen and redeem him. We can see how in the perfect time, Peter was used by the Lord in the remainder of the New Testament. We can see how faithful the Lord is to redeem that which is fallen.

Yes, I am weak, but Christ is strong in my weakness. Yes, I may fail, Yes I may fall, but the Lord is faithful and He is Good. He will redeem! I don't have to trust in my own strength. I can trust in the Lord and I can know that as I wait on His perfect timing He will strengthen me and prepare me. He will never give up on me...For His yoke is easy and His burden is light.


Hannah E. said...

Oh wow. What you shared really resonates with me. I can relate to your feelings. I don't have the words right now to articulate exactly how right now, but just know that your words reached my heart and really challenged me. And I too needed to hear that encouragement about Peter's life being used.

Hannah E. said...

sorry, i said "right now" twice in that sentence. didn't mean to be redundant like that!