Rest? I know that's what Jesus said, but how many of us really live like he has given us rest? How many of us have learned "the unforced rhythms of grace," as The Message puts it. For many of us, the first thing we learned when we became a Christian was that there were certain expectations that we were to live up to in order for God to bless us, or at least in order to stay in the good graces of the group. Some still live that way, and are burdened by a load as heavy as the one the Pharisees put on the Jews of Jesus' day. Others have broken away from that bondage but taken on another heavy burden, the burden of "proving" how free they are in Christ. Even if we are not burdened by Pharisaical rules or by a need to prove our Christian liberty, we may have a hard time simply resting in God's grace and mercy.
One of the things that the Father is teaching me is that he loves me, my family, and my friends dearly, and that his heart is good toward them. He takes care of his children. Even though I have seen the hand of God numerous times as he takes care of us, I am having to constantly be reminded by my Father that we are all in his arms, and that it is not my job to do what only he can do. I can only do what God has called me to do as a husband, father, and friend. I cannot change anyone's heart. I cannot make them do what I think they should do. I can't heal anyone. I can't provide jobs. Only the Creator of the universe can do that.
I am learning that the only thing I can do is love them, pray for them, and give them any help that I can. As I do those things, I have to rest in Abba's love and grace and trust him to do what is good. When I am able to do that, it brings a peace and contentment that is not there when I try to do God's job or worry about how he is carrying it out. As many times as I've seen that played out, you'd think I would have learned that lesson well. I am learning it, but I still have a ways to go.