Some days, it seems, I just wake up tired and dragging. This morning was one of those times. I stayed up late last night reading and surfing the net, not exactly the best thing to do when my busy mind is already in gear from a full day. Nevertheless, I did, and was definitely feeling the effects this morning, when the alarm went off (way too early it seemed!) and it was time to get the kids up for school.
I saw a cartoon once that showed Jesus talking to a man and showing him the footprints in the sand. It said, “You see these footprints over here? That was when I carried you. But, you see this long groove in the sand over there? That was when I dragged you for a little while.”
That always makes me chuckle, because how true it is. Some days, I feel like the Lord has to drag me around because I just don’t have the strength it seems to get everything done that I need to do in the twenty-four hours I’ve been given, yet my self-sufficiency (i.e. pride) tells me that I don’t need to be carried, I can do things just fine on my own, thank you very much. I tell myself I’ll ask for help when I really need it.
I’ll bet God smiles when He sees my pathetic attempts at dragging myself around and trying to carry everything on my own little shoulders, and thinking that I am so strong and so big, not realizing that He is holding the load up so that it’s bearable and doesn’t break me.
Can you relate? I smile now even as I write this because I think of my fourteen-year old son who says that he can’t wait to move out when he’s eighteen. I tell him that as an adult there are bills and rent, cleaning the house, forty-hour workweeks and things like paying taxes that aren’t as fun as playing Xbox live and hanging out with friends most of the time. He’s sure that when he’s eighteen he’s got it made, not really understanding the concept that his parents are paying the utilities, providing for his shelter, and making sure that there is food in the house.
Don’t we often do that same thing though when we relate to God? We say, “I got this,” not realizing that we are only breathing and our heart is still beating because He has given us another day to live.
The good thing is, we don’t have to come to the end of our rope to ask God for help and for strength. I’ve done that far too many times- when I am sick, or when there’s a crisis, I finally say, “Lord, I can’t do this alone!” But He is there to give us strength in every situation. That’s why I love Matthew 11:28-30. Here, Jesus says:
“Come to me all you 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 (NKJV).”
Isaiah 40:28-29 says, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.”
I’m praying for His strength for today and over the next couple of days, as I have to work a graveyard shift tomorrow night, and then we head to my in-laws’ house for Thanksgiving, so I will need His, because my body will probably be ready to sleep for about two days straight before we even get on the road Thanksgiving morning for the four and a half hour drive to my in-laws’ house.
Matthew 28-30 also promises that when we call upon Him, we will receive rest. How lovely is that word, especially when I stop to think of all that it entails. Not just rest as in sleep (though naps are nice too!) but rest from worry, from all of the hectic goings-on and the noise around us, rest from strain and struggle and toil. Just resting in His arms and knowing that He is awake, even when we sleep.
“Thank You Lord, that You are our strength, that You are our refuge from the worries, the cares, the fatigue and the daily stresses in our lives. When we are tired, I pray that we might run into Your arms and let You hold and carry us. Forgive us when we try to go it alone, Lord, and forget that we need You. Help us to desire to walk close with You each and every day. I’m thankful that You’re right beside us always, and that You have been where we are so You understand, and that You’re with us in each tomorrow as well. Help us to be living testimonies of Your strength and Your peace in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”