Tag Archives: burdens

Gen 33-35; Matt 11

I was browsing through an antique mall one day with a friend. While looking through all the hidden treasures we came across a wooden yoke. We both thought about how great of a visual reminder it would be to have hanging on our wall. After that day this verse kept showing up in what seemed like everything I read.  “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.” Matt. 11:29&30 NKJV

How many times do I try to wear other yokes? Yokes of unbelief, fear, anxiety, doubt…that only turn into bondage. But, Jesus is telling me that His yoke is freeing…

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matt 11:28-30 MSG

In my own humanness I tend to fall back into those other yokes and try to carry them around instead. That’s why I need to have those visual reminders like Jacob did….

God spoke to Jacob: “Go back to Bethel. Stay there and build an altar to the God who revealed himself to you when you were running for your life from your brother Esau.” Jacob told his family and all those who lived with him, “Throw out all the alien gods which you have, take a good bath and put on clean clothes, we’re going to Bethel. I’m going to build an altar there to God who answered me when I was in trouble and has stuck with me everywhere since…He built an altar there and named it El-Bethel (God-of-Bethel) because that’s where God revealed himself to him when he was running from his brother.” Genesis 35:1-3 & 6-7 MSG

And that’s how it happened that Jacob arrived all in one piece in Shechem in the land of Canaan – all the way from Paddan Aram. He camped near the city. He bought the land where he pitched his tent from the sons of Hamor, the father of Schem. He paid a hundred silver coins for it. Then he built an altar there and named it El-Elohe-Isreal (Mighty is the God of Israel).” Genesis 33:18-20 MSG

God revealed himself once again to Jacob, after he had come back from Paddan Aram and blessed him: “Your name is Jacob (Heel); but that’s your name no longer. From now on your name is Israel (God-Wrestler).” Genesis 35:9-10 MSG

As I sit here typing, the visuals are all around me. The bible verses taped to the wall, the journal in my hand and my word for the year, HOPE. Thank you Father that You are my Hope and that if I cling to You, the heaviness will fade away. In the quiet I hear You reminding me how desperately I need You.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Numbers 11, Psalm 48, Isaiah 1, & Hebrews 9

At least twice this week I have turned my frustrations upward and cried out to God, perhaps like Moses, when he said, “Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me?” (Numbers 11:11).   I feel responsible for others, and they become dependent on me either to solve their problems or to be a shoulder to cry on.  Love songs espouse this sentiment, “Lean on me when you’re not strong,” and “I’ll be there, just call on me.”  Well, I can say that after years of living out this calling, I’ve come close to burnout more than once. What happens seems like a mystery to me until I consider how my heart can turn away from being called to serve. Distraction pulls me in so many directions that serving God becomes just one more thing that isn’t working.  My life begins to look like the child’s toy, paddle ball – the red, rubber ball attached by an elastic band. I’m bopping in one direction and then another, trying to stay attached to the paddle, but swinging wildly away until finally I fling right off the end of the stretched band.

How do I get so far out before I know what is happening?  Do I crave chaos, or what?! I have a friend who is well on her way to becoming a minimalist, and the virtues of living simply cause my soul to salivate.  Just like how she cleans out those closets, donates bags of old clothes, books, and furnishings, and thoughtfully considers what is truly a need versus a want or nostalgic nuisance, I long to rid myself of the unnecessary baggage of pleasing people.  Running with empty buckets toward others to put out their false alarm fires, or sinking into the sucking mud of my distorted memories – those good, old days.  All this clutter of irrational thoughts and behaviors distract me from serving God.

How interesting that God calls to me today in Hebrews 9:14, “…how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”  And again, in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

I know my calling is to help others carry the burdens they have fallen victim to.  God ‘s calling is not a mystery.  He clearly says in Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” 

To do this, there can be no more bouncing around and flying into who knows where.

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