Thoughts From Julia M

7 03 2011

I am a slow learner when it comes to grace. During last week’s discussion on work in the Gospel in Life series, the verses from Matthew 11:28-30 were brought to light:

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I remember driving to class in the midst of a crazy, overwhelming, stressful first semester of medical school and listening to lyrics on a CD a friend had given me based on the above verses. “Your yoke is easy, and your burden is light.” I disagreed, probably fighting back tears, thinking of all of the material I was supposed to know and did not, thinking of all that was expected of me and all the ways I was seemingly falling short, thinking I had a case to argue, that no, this was rather hard and rather heavy.

The reply still strikes me because I have yet to embrace it fully: “then it’s not my burden you’re carrying, and it’s not my yoke to which you’re bound.” Wow. To what do I continue to enslave myself? What prevents me from enjoying the freedom and the joy Christ offers? Is it placing my identity in performance, in ideals of success, in people’s opinions of me? Is it a fear of failure, of inadequacy, of rejection?

The R12 session about authentic community talked about taking off our masks. I remember a time during that same intense first semester in which I essentially cut myself off from a source of authentic Christian community to my own detriment because I wanted to hide, run away, not be vulnerable to others, not admit my needs and struggles. Though I rejoined that community and was very blessed by the truth and refreshment gleaned there and though God Himself was sufficiently faithful to see me through that tough period and to provide countless means of grace along the way, I truly missed out by not fully embracing that gift of authentic community.

What God shows me time and time again is that He wants what’s best for us and He knows what that entails; He knows what He’s doing, even when we don’t. He’s not a God of trickery. When He tells us to rest, He knows that is what we need. When He tells us to come to Him, He knows He alone can offer what will make us whole and what will truly satisfy our souls. And when He gives us the gift of authentic community, He knows that is the means of Kingdom living.

-Julia M.

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