Blessings and Burdens
Is anything weighing you down this week? Here's our latest blog post from Ordinand Sarah Rock-Evans who reminds us where we can find our rest.
Matthew 11: 28-30 “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.”
As a family we enjoy walking, and for my husband Martin and I this is mostly a chance to get some exercise, be in fresh air, and chat together. But I have learnt that walking has an added dimension for our children as an Opportunity to Collect Things such as moss, twigs and leaves. Some of these are offered as gracious gifts to Martin and I, with sparkly eyes and outstretched hands: “Look what I found for you Mummy!” and some are squirreled away into their private collections. At this time of year I frequently find conkers in the bottom of the washing machine, or acorns in their bedrooms. There will be some treasures to uncover if we have to move house for curacy!
Recently I was tidying out a bag I often use, which had become full of the rubbish that we all accumulate over time, when I found a stone at the bottom of it. It was not just a small pebble but more of a chunky rock. I realized this must have been a gift from one of our walks, offered with glee, gratefully accepted and then stored away for the rest of the walk, before being forgotten as I carried on with the rest of the day. It had remained there for several weeks, even months(!) afterwards. The blessing had quietly become a burden, a weight that I carried around without even knowing it.
This led to me to reflect on the way other blessings can become burdens, sometimes very subtly so that we barely realise what we are carrying. Something that starts with great joy can become hard work and an effort to carry around. Perhaps the blessing of your job has now become more complex, or a relationship that began with great joy now brings you anxiety. Jesus knew that our earthly lives can be hard work and in these verses from Matthew 11 he offers both an invitation and a promise to help us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He doesn’t ask us to carry our burdens alone but to take them to Him, to exchange them for his lighter yoke, to receive His grace, to trust in His leading and to know that He is always with us.
I would encourage you this week to spend some time praying in whatever way helps you most. You might like to walk and pray, to journal or to draw a picture of your concerns. All of these approaches, and others can help us to bring our burdens before Jesus, seeking His grace and receiving His easier yoke, so that we can recover a sense of blessing in His peace.
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