Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I’ve been too busy to write for a few days… ok, a week. I’ll admit, it’s been busy work to keep my mind off of writing. There’s a lot going on. But I’ve worked it out and now I know what I want to say. So here it is….
God’s Got This.
Profound, right? Sounds like the same old stuff everyone else says, but I mean He really does. I’ve taken a week to stress and then spend time with Him to make sure I had this down before I came back to tell you about it.
I love to make stuff. I love creating tiny gifts to give my friends and I love to talk about how each day God shows me something else to be excited about. My dream is to one day incorporate the two into one big, pay-the-bills-and-have-free-time-to-play-and-create pile at The End of the Sidewalk. But life keeps happening and distracting me from it!
So this past weekend, I turned my phone’s ringer off, including all social media notifications, on Friday night so I could think. I left it that way until I needed it for church and then for the GPS for a prayer dessert I was going to on Sunday. I wanted to read, pray, and listen. I had received a text earlier in the evening from a friend about the bookmark I had recently given her, saying her daughter wondered if I made panda bookmarks. Of course I never had but I quickly responded, “Why yes, I do!” As soon as the ringer was shut off, I started doodling. Saturday morning I got to work and by noon, I had created a few I thought she would like- cute, huh?
Nothing fancy, but she loves them. They’re mostly corner covers, and they’re not all pandas, but they were a hit! There’s even one her big sister might like and her dad’s a Tennessee Vols fan so yeah, I had to make one like that, too. Judge me. 😉
But it made me happy to know that I was able to share a little bit of the crafty side of me with a friend. And to boot, to show me how happy she was, I think she’s 7, she made one especially for ME!
This was all in response to listening to God to just be. Not be a bee: but Just. Be.
I have an hour drive home from work, so Friday on my way home, I was having this talk with God about why I’d been stressing all week. About why I even got to the point of wanting to be mean so my voice would be heard. I mean, earlier in the week, I had wanted to remind people that they had made choices that effect others and that just because they feel ignored doesn’t mean they get to get out of the choices now. I wanted to tell people they aren’t God and to be mindful of the examples they’re setting. I wanted to tell people “Let it go!” and “I told you so!” And every time, instead of posting or emailing or texting or confronting, God kept bringing me back to the thought of a yoke. The yoke of trying to fix things especially. The yoke of thinking that, after the life these people have watched me live (read: survive), they should be able to believe that I knew what’s best for them.
The thought of a yoke reminded me of a lesson from the Freedom in Christ classes I worked through last fall. In this particular class,the facilitator taught us the Biblical meaning of the yoke by telling us a story about a young ox that was hooked up to the yoke of an old ox. The young ox (Judi in this case) thought she was tough and strong and could work circles around the old ox (this one would be Jesus) and tried to prove it. The young ox would pull as hard as she could to get the old ox to hurry up and get the job done- probably so she could go play Candy Crush or something- but the old ox just kept up the easy but steady pace. The young ox pulled and stressed and got so exhausted the old ox ended up just about dragging her around while He finished the work.
Thinking of that scenario made me realized that God was trying to show me that all of that stuff that’s going on isn’t my problem, it’s His. He was trying to show me that my job is to keep the pace He has set for me and to let Him help me through it all. I realized I was trying to play God but that’s His job. I realized that all of the stressing and the busy work with groups and games and visits I had pulled off last week was about avoiding Him while I tried to figure out how I could work it all out myself. He was trying to remind me of how much I need Him. All the time.
So I closed it all down for a few days. I shut out the noise of social media, put my face in the Bible and a couple of good books I am reading, and I made a little girl some silly bookmarks. And you know what happened? The world kept turning. Facebook kept Facebooking. Twitter kept up with the tweets. People kept peopling (yes that’s a word now). Jesus kept being Jesus. And I survived not being in control.
I can’t fix anything but I can work to improve who I am as this new creation in Christ. I can focus on who I am called to be now that He is living in me. I can trust that He knows what’s best, what’s going on, and how it’s all going to work out while I take care of my little piece of the earth. I’m officially hanging up my robe and sandles folks. I’m gonna leave the busy work to the bees and let that easy yoke guide me on this journey. God’s got this.