Today in Sunday School, we discussed Matthew 11:28-30:
28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We talked about the image of taking Jesus’ yoke and the implications of doing so. As I reflected on the mental image and the metaphor, I thought about control (God’s part) and surrender (my part). We talked about how when two animals are yoked together, they have to go the same direction and the same pace. I thought about my own selfishness and how hard it is to lay down my own will and sinful nature and take up the yoke of the Lord, allowing Him to be in control of my life.
Surrender is so difficult, even though when I look back on times I surrender and times when I don’t, I’m always happier, more joyful, and more blessed when I set aside my own agenda for the purpose of following Christ. Sometimes this involves big decisions and life-changing events, like going on the trip to Kenya, but sometimes it’s something as simple as realizing that when I’m feeling worried and anxious about something, I need to set aside my own will and my own ineffective ways of dealing with anxiety and go pick up my Bible.
I was feeling worried about something the other night and was going to go bury myself in the fiction book I’m currently reading, but I felt like the Lord wanted me to go finish up the reading I had begun that morning from my Daily Bible. Reluctantly, I went to pick up my Bible and turned to the Psalm where I had left off. I was amazed, just as I have been time and again, at how specifically the Lord answered the questions and fears in my heart. He met me exactly where I was and was so faithful to speak His truth directly to my fear. I don’t know why I continue to feel surpised, almost stunned, each time I open my Bible and find the Lord speaking so purposefully and specifically and relevantly to me. It has happened often enough in the past year that you would think I wouldn’t be so surprised.
But there you have it. The Lord’s Word IS living and sharper than a two-edged sword, and He is alive and well, speaking to His children and constantly at work accomplishing His will. When I think about the incredible joy and gratitude I feel whenever I get to experience His word in such a real, personal way, quiet time begins to seem like less of a “should” and more of a “get to.” I “get to” have the chance to experience true joy that comes from spending time with the Father. I know this is not new information (Surprise! You can experience joy from reading the Bible!), but I still struggle with disciplining myself to read my Bible each day and really spend time praying and meditating on His Word, so I think I need to be diligent in recording these moments of joy to help myself be more faithful in spending time with Him. What a joy to be filled with joy that cannot be taken away by man or by the world because it has been placed there by the Most High God, Himself!