Monday, September 8, 2014

Frog lessons

Matthew 11:28 - 30 (MSG) "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Some time back, I mentioned how utterly exhausted I feel. No matter how much rest or sleep I seem to get, I can’t shake this feeling of being overwhelmed and tired. Lately, it’s as if I am at the bottom of a pit frantically trying to dig myself out, only to no avail. So I sit idly by doing nothing, afraid to move. Have you ever been there?
One summer I was reminded just how paralyzing exhaustion can be. I was chatting with friends who live next door, when their grandchildren came running up with a frog they had found near the pond in their yard. Wanting to keep the frog as a pet, the children soon found a container, filled it with pond water, and placed the frog inside. The frog was literally frozen in place. As I sat there looking at the frog, I wondered “why doesn’t he just jump out of the container?”
In the moments as I watched the frog suspended in mid-pond water the words of Matthew 11:28 – 30 flooded my thoughts. “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.” I had been living the past week of my life on sheer adrenaline, relying mostly on caffeine to keep me going. I hadn’t taken the time to “get away with Jesus” and give Him anything. Like the frog, I had chosen to remain still, afraid to take the next step that would surely lead me to freedom and rest.
To me, the Message paints a “serene” picture by the way it paraphrases the words of Matthew chapter 11. “Get away with me” reminds me of Psalm 23 verses 1 through 3 (MSG).
“God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”
God never intended for us to be exhausted and overwhelmed. He doesn’t lay heavy burdens on us; we tend to do that all on our own. Instead, He wants us to bring our cares and burdens to Him so He can replace them with rest and abundant life.
Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed right now. Call on Jesus. Give Him the “stuff” of your life that seems to be weighing you down. Allow Him to exchange the stress and exhaustion with lush meadows and quiet pools of living water.

You can also let the frog be a reminder...
F - fully
R - rely
O - on
G - God

Related scripture: 1 Peter 5-7, John 14:27, Psalm 4:8, Phil. 4: 6 - 7

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