I have been feeling so weary the last two months. I cannot even really put a finger on why, but we are moving to another town, have had someone in our house continually sick for the last three weeks, and it has just been altogether crazy. There has not been time for rest.
This morning I was wide awake at 6:30 am, which is quite unlike me. I like to sleep. Sleeping is one of my favorite things in the world. I love the feeling of being warm, comfortable, with the blankets all wrapped around my head, while dreaming strange and (sometimes) entertaining things. I also have four kids and this is one of the few nights in the last week that they all slept through the night, and yet I was wide awake.
So, in my head, I said, “I might as well get up and read my Bible.”
In the last class I took for my Christian Ministry studies, one of our books made the specific point that reading the Bible can be a formational spiritual exercise for the believer. I had heard this before, but it had not captured my imagination and heart the way this was explained to me. I did not grow up in the Church, so my primary reasons for reading the Bible were:
1) Proving that I was right about something.
2) Um… the first one covers it.
Anyone who reads the Bible regularly knows how shortsighted and limiting reading it this way is. If we are looking to God’s Word to prove anything that we are trying to wield as a weapon against someone else, we are not reading it in a godly way. I have had this inkling that there had to be a better way to read it for the last five or six years, but I was never quite sure where to begin. It seemed like such a large task just beginning to change it, and I didn’t have the right tools.
This morning I studied by the way of Lectio Divina. I may not explain it the best, but I will attempt to. You start with reading a particular verse and note any key words or phrases that stand out to you. You read it again. Then you choose a word to focus on while reading it again. I chose the word, peace, this morning for my reading in Matthew 11: 25-30. I eventually narrowed the reading down to verses 28-30, because it is the verses that stood out to me the most. I need to lay down the burden I have been carrying. When God’s burden is so much lighter, His yoke is easy, and I am so weary. The word, tired, does not even come close to what I am feeling right now.
Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest.
Come to me, my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
There is so much to do each day that I feel like only a portion ever gets done. I now pray for peace, because the Lord is the Prince of Peace. I picture that peace being like the perfume of a flower, or the mist of the morning that comes each day here in Oregon, and I breathe it in. I picture this mist, the Spirit of God, changing me, forming me to Christ’s image. More beautiful than I can imagine, more lovely than I can fathom.
And I am met with the presence of God. I am met with humility and above all, peace. God knows the burden I carry, and He will carry it for me if I let him.