“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” —Matthew 11:30 (ESV)
I’ve spent much of this year feeling as if I was walking through molasses. I have a tendency to finagle (isn’t that a great word, by the way?) events to the best possible outcome, which causes me the least amount of energy, interruption, or discomfort. I can latch onto a great opportunity, idea, or endeavor and throw myself at it full force. I’m so good at working hard, capitalizing on a “good idea,” and employing every tried-and-true strategy.
There’s just one problem with my working so hard in my own strength.
It’s not the way God wants me to work.
And so, when I do, it’s hard. So hard. So tiring, so long, so complicated. My best efforts are met with resistance. My best attempts are fraught with failure. My energy depleted, I ask God over and over and over to bless “the plan.” And I work harder. And a little bit harder.
Earlier this year—when I was working four part-time jobs and so exhausted—a good friend pointed out to me the obvious fatigue my efforts were yielding. She reminded me that God says his yoke is easy and his burden is light.
I often think about this verse in terms of having some grave worry that’s bringing me down and that if I just “give it to God,” I’ll have the burden lifted. Of course, that relates. But the application from my friend is appropriate, too.
When I’m doing what God has called me to do, created me to do, and prepared me to do, it’s easy. Just the opposite of dragging myself through molasses.
I don’t mean that there are not times in life when God calls us to walk through dark places or tough situations in order to teach and refine us. I’m talking about the times when we take charge and try to forge ahead in our own strength for selfish motives and within our own wisdom.