Heavy lifting hurt
“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.” — Matthew 11:28-30
Come, Jesus calls. Take, Jesus coaxes.
Calling us. Coaxing us. In being who he is, Jesus knows that, when we are hurting, we don’t want to move.
Jesus, the Great Physician, knows about healing. In his days on earth, if someone were to break an ankle, the plan for the ankle would be immobilization. When our hearts are broken, we tend to think the healing plan should be no different than the ankle.
This makes sense. We are too hurt to move.
Yet those of us who have moved through heartbreaks—and all of us have moved through heartbreaks—know that an ankle is an ankle. The heart is the heart. When it comes to the heart, the best course of action is action.
The action is unwelcomed at first. It is unwanted. Yet even in the horrific loss of a loved one (and we’ve all been here, too), we still move. Specifically (and very, very painfully), we have to move. We make plans and numbly walk through the funeral or memorial service.
My affiliation with playing baseball is long gone, but I remember the coach saying, “Walk it off!” after one of us little sluggers got hit with the ball at bat.
We are going to have to move eventually. Groceries. Shoveling the sidewalk. Reheating something from the fridge even though we won’t taste it and don’t want it. Maybe Jesus really is like that little league coach, at least in some way. Stunned in our hurt, we need direction.
Maybe Jesus, who is patient and kind, is calling us to walk it off, too. Any kind of grief is consuming, overwhelming, slippery and mean. Yet we never have to do this heavy lifting alone. Jesus says we can come to him and find rest. We can take his yoke and never have to shoulder the impossible alone.
PRAYER: Lord, we always have you when the break can’t be cast. Keep calling to us. Keep offering your yoke which is easy and light. Amen.