During an election campaign season we hear a lot about what the government is going to do for the people. We hear arguments about what exactly the role of government is and we argue over its priorities. We debate current issues like immigration, taxation, abortion, medical care and more. We learn that various political parties believe that change is necessary all the while disagreeing about what that change entails. It’s made me wonder about who might be right and who might be wrong and even if the politicians and their pundits mean what they say or ever say what they really mean. And another thing – what is appropriate to expect from God, others and myself? As is my habit, I often turn to the scriptures in search of inspiration. Here’s a favorite set of verses that often comfort me:
“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 CEB
On day 1 of this series, we were encouraged to carry each other’s burdens; on day 2 we were told to be still and the Lord will take care of us. Today, we are given three verses that I do not know how we could ever live without, especially during an election year. Let’s assume that we live with the capacity and resources to have others share our burdens (day 1 stuff) – maybe this gives us some breathing room. We are not alone, and we have help. Furthermore, we understand that being still and waiting is not only a fine option, it is an instruction (day 2 stuff). Today, we are reminded of the following: “Come to me….” Maybe the three most important words in these verses are “come to me…”.
“Come to me…” sets my responsibility before me. We move toward Jesus. We come to him. Being thoroughly non-codependent, it seems to me that God grants us the freedom and responsibility to make a decision to turn to him. He’s not going to chase us down the street and beg to be helpful to us. I understand this so much better in my dotage than I did when I was younger. As my children grew and developed, there came a time when I had to shift from being mommy-on-the-spot to making room for them to practice increased responsibilities. Early on I would practically sit on my hands and considered sticking my feet in a block of wet cement and waiting for it to dry to curb my helpful enthusiasm. My adult children would not appreciate it if I chased after them like they were preschoolers. When I do get a phone call requesting babysitting services or can they borrow the lawnmower (because theirs is broken) Pete and I love love love saying YES! But how disrespectful would it be if we snuck in their houses and did their laundry while they were at work or cleaned out their refrigerators or vacuumed their floors? Disrespectful. They are perfectly capable of managing their adult lives. I love these verses in Matthew because it reminds me that Jesus believes that we are responsible and we can be trusted to come to him. And it comforts me to know that although there are some things I need to do, look at all the stuff Jesus does for me!