Nothing is working or helping!
I remember sitting on my couch thinking, “There HAS to be a better way….”. I was weary from burdens and the futility of carrying them. It seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I could not figure out how to handle certain people OR their problems. The real issue was that I was trying to “fix” them so that they would not suffer.
Now if that isn’t futile, I don’t know what is.
Watching the suffering of my loved ones was taking its toll on me. Because I have the tendency to become over-responsible with others, I can cross healthy boundary lines lickety-split.
That particular day, I was caught up in the highs and lows of family life. One of my children was celebrating a last-minute victory while another was lamenting over a loss. In the same moment, my heart was rejoicing and breaking simultaneously.
What I was in need of was more than a quick fix, it was peace.
At any given moment, there was always something or someone to fret over. If my family members were happy then I was happy. If they were upset, then I was upset. Weariness was setting in, along with the recognition that something HAD to change.
When I get frustrated with life, I have learned enough to know the problem lies with me. From reading the Bible, I know what life is supposed to be like so when mine is less than that, I know to examine how I am not understanding the truth of the matter.
Mind you, I am not saying that life is supposed to be problem-free. Rather, I learn from Jesus how as believers, we can handle them in such a way so that we experience peace in the midst of them. We don’t have to be tossed around by the difficulties that face us. We can meet them with courage, grace, and stability.
Can you relate?
Have you hit a season in life that is utterly frustrating? Times where nothing seems to change? Whether it is a season when problems are multiplied or maybe when dreams are left unfulfilled, times such as these can be difficult to endure. We are left weary, without any know-how for bringing about the answers we need.
What can help when we feel-
- hemmed in by circumstances
I have learned the answer can be found in Scripture. When I feel terrible, going to the Word to learn what the problem truly is, compared to what I think it is, makes a huge difference. Jesus continually teaches me that what I need to address isn’t what is on the outside (the set of circumstances) as often as what is found on the inside (processing those circumstances).
The Lifeline of Scripture for What Ails
That day on the couch, the truth of this verse echoed the rescue I needed from the relentless waves of “issues”. Matthew 11:28-30 NIV was a lifeline.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
The bottom line is that if Jesus says His yoke is easy and His burden light, then it must be an option. And if that isn’t my experience, then the fault must be on my end. That shows me where to start looking for the problem.The bottom line is that if Jesus says His yoke is easy and His burden light, then it must be an option and one that I want! Click To Tweet
Because I know the reality that CAN BE MINE, I begin to search for what can be done to accomplish that. Something immediately catches my notice from this passage. I read two actions that Jesus calls us to make.
- come to me
- learn from me
Is this being done? If not, why not?
It was true that I certainly felt weary and burdened but what was I doing about that? I noticed that day as I sat struggling on my couch that I was trying to handle these people and their issues on my own. I had to examine if Jesus would even handle them in the same way.
The first lesson I learned that day was to literally come to Jesus with what concerned me. It was futile when I did anything less than that. The longer I tried to figure everything out, the worse I felt. Besides, I didn’t have the answers anyway. My reasoning as a human is flawed compared to His wisdom.
When I am facing a troubling situation now, I inwardly take it to Christ and lay it at His feet. By casting my anxieties on Him, I am resisting being unwise or over-responsible. My knee-jerk reaction has changed so that I no longer waste time trying to carry these burdens myself. Thankfully, this has vanquished the exhaustion and frustrations that were typical of me for so long.
What can I learn from Christ?
Once I learned that I needed to make a habit of coming to Jesus when I felt weary or burdened, the next action needed to be learning from Him as it concerned my troubling circumstances. This could be accomplished as I reflected back on Scripture looking for His perspective or practice.
For instance, that day on my couch as I was experiencing the highs and lows that are inevitable from loving those around us, Luke 4:14-30 came to mind. In this passage, Jesus experiences varying emotions from dealing with those around Him.
But I saw a big difference in how He handled it. He was calm as this happened.
Jesus did not seem to get caught up in the emotional upheaval of those around Him. He appeared anchored as if what went on around Him did not control what was happening inside of Him. His emotional state was not determined by the thoughts or actions of others.Jesus did not get caught up in the emotional upheaval of those around Him. Why was I? Click To Tweet
How can this be? How was He able to detach Himself from the emotional control of others?
Well, as I learn from Jesus, I notice that He allowed only God to determine His perspective. Christ did not allow the opinion of others to validate Him. He also knew that God was ultimately in control of every aspect of life. Therefore, He had the final authority anyway.
This perspective and practice enabled Him to remain at peace.
What does this mean?
The end result Jesus is promising us when we come to Him and learn from Him is REST! Who doesn’t want more of that?! And that is exactly what I have found!
When I was at a loss for what to do next, I learned the best thing to do in the first place- come to Jesus and learn from Him.
He always has a better perspective than I do which means He also has a better plan for it. When I read that Jesus is gentle and humble in heart, I want that for myself. That is the way life CAN BE lived so, therefore, that is the way I want to live.
The greatest relief in life is knowing that I don’t have to fret anymore about how to fix people or their issues. I relish in the rest Jesus offers by transferring the trouble over to Him. The very best reaction every time is surrender with dependence upon Jesus.
That is what brings about our reality of peace no matter what may be going on around us! Following hard after all that He is and offers brings such reward!