The summer wasn’t an easy few months by any means. I slept very little; I felt unsafe in my own home. Someone I love dearly was going through chemo, and it felt like God was allowing my soul to be suffocated by everything that felt out of my control.
I don’t really buy into the saying that time heals all wounds, but I knew time would alleviate some of the burdens I felt from this summer. I knew I would find a new place to live where I could rest easy at night, it was just a matter of when. I knew the chemo would eventually be done, but it was a matter of when.
I still trusted that God was working for my good, but what was good about all of this? He wasn’t answering my prayers of sleeping through the night. He wasn’t opening doors to move houses.
I started reading a book recently called “Gentle and Lowly” by Dane Ortlund. Many of my friends have raved about this book, and so now I’m finally getting around to reading it. I was struck by the imagery of the first chapter. This chapter had a focus on the following verse: “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.”
I’ve heard that verse numerous times, and I even had friends and family that sent me that verse over the summer. I read it over and over but felt disconnected from this verse. I was not resting. I wasn’t sleeping. The burden felt heavy and overbearing.
In my mind, when I would read that verse I would picture the yoke on my shoulders and I would try to keep moving through the fields carrying this yoke. When it would get a little too heavy and hard, God might stop by and lift up the yoke for a while, but then it would fall upon my shoulders again.
The weight of my own world, hoping the Lord would pop in to take some of the weight off if only for a moment.
But as I read Chapter 1 about this verse, a different image popped into my head. I had been viewing this verse in a half-glass empty kind of way when in reality the goodness of God was overflowing my cup.
The yoke isn’t weighing me down; it’s lifting me up. God’s yoke isn’t some heavy wooden contraption trapped around your neck. It’s a blanket of His warmth wrapped around your soul. His yoke is not a burden and it’s not mine to carry alone. When I first began a relationship with God, He took off the yoke of the world that was suffocating my every breath and He pulled me in and gave me the gift of freedom in His love.
His yoke isn’t weighing me down. It’s lifting me up. God didn’t promise an easy life; He promised a life with purpose. One I can rejoice in even in these hard moments.
I had this very particular apartment I wanted in Nashville. At this point, I’d be willing to move anywhere but I was hopeful I would be able to move into one certain place. A month ago, they told me they had no openings and put us on a waitlist. Then, they said we may be able to move into an apartment on October 15th and on the 1st floor. My lease ends on September 30th and I really didn’t want to be on the first floor after what we’d been through.
Then, last week we received a call stating that someone had last minute broken their new lease on an apartment that would be available on August 26th. The apartment told us that they knew that might not work for us being so soon, but they just wanted to tell us. And the apartment would be on the 2nd floor.
We sat in awe. An apartment that would be ready in two week’s time at the place we wanted and on the floor we wanted? Might seem silly, but God is in the details. Every last one of them.
His yoke is piecing my soul back together. His burden is reminding me life is worth living.