Friday, May 7, 2010

Have You Grown Weary?

I woke up tired the last couple of mornings, and today I have a queasy stomach on top of that. I'd be inclined to suspect impending illness, except I've learned from experience that such symptoms are more likely than not to be stress-induced fatigue. It must be stress-induced, because it occurs with significantly less correlation to the number of hours I spend in bed each night than to my emotional investment in long To Do lists. It's hard to be confident that God will complete His good work in you (Phil. 1:6) when you're constantly obsessed with fear that you won't complete something or other.

I can imagine Jesus looking at the crowds in first-century Galilee and seeing similar anxious thoughts in their hearts, as He issued His famous invitation: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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 yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Mt. 11:28-30). Sounds like a decision that hardly needs making, but for most of us it isn't. Especially not for the long term. Habits, fear of losing things that matter to us, and pride that wants to find its own solutions all stand in the way.

To be honest, I find God's disinclination to clearly state His specific solutions (as they apply to me and my situations) to be more than a little annoying. Although I can't agree with the "antisupernaturalist Christians" who claim God's direct revelations ended with the New Testament and that everyone (however dedicated a believer) who believes God has said something specific to her (however brief and simple) must be imagining things, I can sympathize with the frustration that probably drives some people to this conclusion. Some Christians seem to receive a word of encouragement or guidance from God at every quiet time; myself, no matter how much I pray, I never even seem to get a wordless sense of His Presence. Not even anything that gives me some idea whether I'm right to worry that my cluttered mind or some unconfessed sin is causing the problem.

When one gets to this point, there's only one thing to do. Follow God's advice in Psalm 46:10 to "be still"--which, translated literally, means something like "let go." Let go of your frustrations, let go of the "musts" and "shoulds" that torture your mind, let go of your plans and fears for the future.

Above all, let go of your attempts to figure out how God "should" work. Just relax and let Him do it.

Have you grown weary with earth and its ways?
Do you find scarcely a reason for praise?
Lift up your heart to the Lord of all joy;
That which He gives, no despair can destroy.

Have you grown weary of life’s endless tasks?
Does it seem nothing you do ever lasts?
Offer your hands to the cause of the Lord;
Only His work brings enduring reward.

Have you grown weary of playing life’s game?
Does every day seem just more of the same?
Call on the Lord; ask to see with His view;
Each day with Him is exciting and new.

Have you grown weary with life as a whole?
Do you just crave lasting rest for your soul?
Patience, have patience; in time, God will bring
Life that endures, where He rules as the King.

1 comment:

Designs by JoLea said...

Inspirational, as always. Just ran across this info and wanted to pass it on:

Vineyards: Journal of Christian Poetry (Dept. of English, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg MS 39406-5037) is new this year. Submit poetry to Philip C. Kolin, editor. Check them out on this Website: www.christwriters.info/index/vineyards-a-journal-of-christian-poetry.

Hope it's something you will consider. Your poetry is amazing.