Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Beautiful Trade

This week I felt a little overwhelmed. 

Last week we were in New Mexico to visit family and friends for the kids’ fall break. It was wonderful and I even had a birthday while we were there.  

But coming home from a trip and getting back into routine can often overwhelm me. The laundry. The anticipation of the busy week ahead. It seems like there’s barely a moment to breathe before it’s off to the races again.  

When I look at my calendar, I see that it isn’t just a trip that makes me feel like this. It’s the hustle and bustle of everyday needs, activities and chores. My to-do list runneth over and I see messes and projects in every room demanding my attention.  

Do you ever feel:

Like it all depends on you?

That if you were more focused, more productive or more together, you’d have it all together?

That there’s not enough of you to go around?  

Me too.  

This year one of the passages of Scripture I’ve focused on personally and taught about quite a bit is Isaiah 61. I’ve read it so many times I’ve almost memorized it. 

But on Wednesday afternoon as I felt overwhelmed, I remembered part of this passage and realized its truth in a new way. Verse 3 of tells us the many things Jesus provides for us: beauty, gladness and praise. But He doesn’t only provide these blessings, but He trades them for the things that weigh us down. 

The part that spoke to my heart this week says the Lord will provide for us “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (NIV). Or the NKJV says, “a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness.” 

Oh, isn’t that what we need? Isn’t that what we long for—for someone to come in and remove the heaviness we feel? Jesus offers this to us!  

A garment gives us warmth and comfort, it covers us and makes us feel secure. I didn’t realize until having kids and watching them with their blankies, but I too love the comfort of a blanket. Even when it’s 110 degrees in the middle of summer, you’ll find me snuggled under a blanket when we’re watching TV or sitting on the couch. I always sleep covered with at least a sheet. Being covered gives me comfort. 

Jesus offers to cover and comfort us with an attitude of praise—praise not based upon circumstances, but upon His love and goodness that withstands all circumstances.  

So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed today, remember that Jesus wants to take your heaviness and make it light. He wants to turn your despair into praise. In Matthew 11:28-29, He tells us,   

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  

Your hard is no match for Jesus. Let Him exchange your heaviness for praise today. 

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