Every now and again I take a moment to look at my life and ask myself, “How did I get here?” It is crazy how things don’t appear to change much from day to day, but reflecting on the past few months my life is noticeably altered. In some ways my eyes have been opened and my heart has sunken by thoughts such as realizing that life is going to go on while I’m gone, or how asking people for money that I’ll never be able to repay is so uncomfortable, or wondering about what will happen if loved ones get sick and I won’t be there for them. This morning I was admiring a collage of pictures on my wall that contain some of my happiest moments from the past year or so, but the happiness was fleeting because it was overcome by a moment of sadness knowing I wouldn’t see them or hear their voices for such a long time. I haven’t even gotten through training camp and the enemy is already steadily attacking my thoughts. I knew going into this whole experience that it would be difficult, but I didn’t think it would be this hard.
I think that I am experiencing a new kind of struggle. It is a weariness that is not rooted in sin or brokenness, but it is rooted in being spent for Jesus Christ. I believe this is part of what Jesus means when he tells us to come to him when we are drained by the world. He doesn’t promise that life will be a piece of cake, but he promises that the burden will be light when we attach ourselves to him.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Something that God has revealed to me over the past few months is that we all have struggles, some are given to us from God and others are created by our insistence on not doing things God’s way. This has taught me a few things: cherish the people that God has placed in your life, because he might be trying to teach you something through them; pray for people that hurt you because you have no idea what they are struggling with; don’t sweat it when things don’t go your way because God is sovereign and his ways are perfect; be willing to change because you were not born perfect and there will always be an area in your life that needs improvement; but most of all- to rely completely on Him.
There’s a song by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors that strikes a chord with this thought…
You can’t know a man till you eat at his table.
You can’t understand the lie without the truth.
You can’t lock me up then tell me about freedom…
Is it possible to be happy and be human?
Certainly, but not without the pain.
And you’re scared of a war you never signed up for,
like a bridegroom left standing in the rain…
You can’t take it with you when you’re gone.
I’ve been practicing having Kingdom vision rather than focusing on things in a 5 foot radius around me. I want to challenge you to flip the tables- look at things in a different light. Consider the burden that you’ve been bearing and whether or not it is because you are fighting for or against God’s will.
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace”