Sometimes I get weary and weary SUCKS.
Weary feels stuck. It feels like trying to move but you can't.
Weary feels like closing your eyes but never feeling rested.
Weary is painful. It feels like being worthless and broken.
Weary is not uncommon to man, but it feels like you are the only one. It feels like being alone.
To be weary is to recognize that today, you are human.
Chances are, you will grow weary when you are pouring out your time, energy, and love and it doesn't get reciprocated.
That is what it is to serve youth.
Sometimes they recipropcate, but mostly they just take. It feels like all of that time, energy and love you just poured out, fell through a black hole and you wonder where you can find it again.
Jesus has an answer to this. In Matthew 11, He has been going to all the cities where "might works" have been happening. But the frustration and tension is palpable. They have experienced great things but it hasn't changed their hearts in great ways. They are stuck. You can imagine the weariness that is starting to take hold. Jesus' response is to pray. He praises the Father for hiding all that is good from the "wise and learned" and saving it for the "little children".
He ends like this (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.
Eugene Petersen paraphrases it like this in The Message...
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
When I read these words of Jesus, I notice a couple of things:
Jesus acknowledges the weariness and the heaviness of the burden.
He knows that the burden is heavy and too much and far more painful than we ever imagined. He knows that we are trying to peel ourselves off the floor and do just one productive thing. He knows that sometimes this weariness is the result of what others have placed on us and other times it is because we have lived into our own broken identities. It is a heavy yoke.
Jesus tells us that we can trade yokes.
We can trade the yoke of other people's expectations for His. We can trade the burden of our own expectations for His. We can trade the burden of our broken identities for His whole and healing identity.
Jesus offers us an invitation, "Walk with me, work with me, watch how I do it."
His is the invitation to change our need for control and power for a gentle and humble heart. We watch Jesus and all the things he calls sacred and then we call them sacred in our own lives. We watch how he loves the broken and we love the broken in the same way. We watch how he talks about the small hidden things of the heart and we talk about the small hidden things of the heart.
There is GRACE here.
We are invited to "learn the unforced rhythms of grace". This invitation leads to living freely and lightly, the opposite of weary.
I know that at times you are weary. Sometimes, I don't want you to be weary because I do not always know how to hold space for that. BUT Jesus, He acknowledges your weariness. And today, I also acknowledge that you are weary. Let's learn the unforced rhythms of grace together.
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued (grow weary) doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10 (MSG)
***Sarah Bessey is responsible for getting my brain thinking about this in her talk on Matthew 11:28-30.