Why is it so hard to rest in God’s power to do the work He has given us to do? Even when I have experienced His amazing power to do way beyond my own abilities, I still find it hard to really work on His speed.
Matthew 11:29 spells it out for us, “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.” I am still learning His ways. His ways never cease to amaze me. I’m preparing for a busy season of travel and a mission trip. I have a completely booked schedule right up until the time we leave. But when one more thing needs to be done, miraculously I discover time, creativity, and even energy that I never knew I had.
Thomas Keating describes it this way: “Our anxious efforts to serve God and our anguished search for God cease. Like God we labor and are at rest at the same time. We work hard but we know by experience, even by bitter experience, that our efforts are not going to go anywhere except insofar as God makes them fruitful.” [i]
Have you discovered this divine absurdity yet? If not, I wonder if you have truly taken on Jesus’ yoke. He means it when He says that being yoked to Him is the key to rest for your souls. At the risk of sounding cocky, it’s the coolest thing ever! People are always trying to take care of me when they know my hard schedule. They don’t want to ask me to do another thing. The thing is…since I’ve learned how to better listen to what God is and is not asking of me, I can say yes to some things that will make people wonder where I get the energy to complete these tasks. When God asks you to do something, He empowers you to do it.
It comes from God and reminds me that He receives all the glory for anything that I do. Jesus really means it when He invites us to rest easy in our work for Him. Perhaps that is why He gives us more work than we can possibly do. He wants us to learn the freedom, joy, accomplishment, and spiritual energy that come from being yoked to Him.
I wish I never got frazzled with the work that is set before me. I can’t tell you that I never miss things and perform my work perfectly. I can tell you that as I rest the work that is meant to be accomplished through being yoked to Jesus will be accomplished in the next 24 hours. I can rest easy in the work that doesn’t get done based on the knowledge that if Jesus had really wanted that completed, it would have been done too.
I hope the older I get, the more I rest in the work God sends me in this world. If you’ve never rested easy in your work, you are missing out on what hard work is given to teach us.
[i] S. Stephanie Iachetta Complied by, The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living, (Continum, New York: 2005), p. 192.