Devotion #82

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

If we’re being honest with ourselves, there are two lies that tempt us all in times of stress—the lie of autonomy and the lie of self-sufficiency. The lie of autonomy has plagued us since we were small children—we simply don’t like to fall under someone else’s authority. We push back when someone tells us what to do. So often our times of greatest stress happen when we have to do something we don’t want to do. Someone else is dictating our responses, and we rise up against them in protest. The reality is that if God created us, we fall under His authority. He is the author and perfecter of our faith, and He is sovereign over every circumstance in our lives. He has chosen this path for you, and He has chosen the authority over you because He has a plan for your good in it.

The second lie is often the harder one to accept, especially when things feel out of control. We want to figure it out on our own. As humans, we have a hard time relying on other people or waiting for someone else to come up with a solution. Many of us just as soon take care of it ourselves. In times of deep trials, our instinct is to frantically look for rationalizations or solutions. We don’t trust others to control the outcome, so we step in and take over. And when we can’t control the circumstances, we go after ways to protect ourselves in the suffering. The reality is we were created for dependency—first on God, then on one another in loving community. We need each other to grow. We need to be taught, encouraged, rebuked, forgiven, counseled, loved—all things we cannot do for ourselves. We need each other.

When these lies show up in our marriages, they can be incredibly destructive. We challenge our spouses when they tell us what to do or act as our authority, and we push them out of the way to take care of it ourselves when they frustrate us with their response. Then we wonder why we don’t feel His rest.

God tells us in the verse He will give us rest when we come to Him tired and exhausted from living in this stressful world. But far too many people stop at verse 28 without reading how He gives us rest in verse 29. He is gentle and lowly. If we learn His ways, if we learn how to show grace and be humble, then we will find His rest. We don’t find His rest by being superior or self-sufficient. We find His rest when we submit to our spouses and we allow them to help us.

God calls us to lay our burdens at His feet. He also tells us to not only submit to His authority in our lives, but to rely on Him and the people He has placed in our lives. This is how we find His rest. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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