AUTHOR’S NOTE: As soon as I hit “publish” on Tuesday’s post (A Weary World… Rejoices) suddenly many other phrases came to mind of responses to our weary world, most of them from Scripture… and thus, a blog series was born. Join me in the coming days to explore our weary world.
This past Sunday part of our time in the high school Bible class was spent discussing the Christian’s response to violence and war, in general, as well as specifically in our time and context. Opinions varied, though I was thankful to hear that all sought to land on the side of love and grace. We debated back and forth and read scripture of how to seek peace above all things, honor those in authority over us, stand up against injustice in the world, and above all, love.
Perhaps there’s another response found in these words of Jesus that I never would have thought to bring into the conversation:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
One response to weariness: rest.
Whenever I see a problem, my first instinct is to try to fix it. When an issue arises, I want to respond. My perfectionist tenancies complicate this as I not only desire to respond, but feel pressure to get the response exactly right. So when I see brokenness, pain, grief, shame, and destruction in the world, I easily can become overwhelmed and weary, especially when the issues are WELL beyond my understanding let alone control. Perhaps in those moments the best thing we can do is nothing at all.
How should I respond to someone who disagrees with me? Should our country/states welcome refugees with open arms or do whatever we need to do to protect ourselves? Should we go after ISIS more than we are? Should we be at war at all? Should I share that article on Facebook that fits my opinion even if I know it will stir up controversy? Should I write what I actually believe in my college paper, or give my professor what I know he’s looking for?
A time will come in some of these kinds of situations where an actual response is necessary, but first, perhaps Jesus provides another way. The prophet Jeremiah says it this way:
This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)
The next time the world makes you weary, stop. Get your eyes on Jesus. If/when a response is necessary, He’ll lead the way. But until then, rest. We all know we could use some!