“For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’”
I love old cars. There’s just something about the rounded fenders, bulky bodies, roomy interiors that appeals to me. Unlike today’s cars that are all so generic you can’t tell one model from another. My favorite car is a 1957 Chevy. I often see old cars sitting in yards or lots, they’re rusted out with flat tires and oxidized paint. They look terrible and it makes me sad because I know what they looked like when they came off the assembly line. But every now and then, I’ll see one on blocks in someone’s driveway that’s being restored, and it gives me a thrill to know that car is going to be shiny and beautiful again. We’re kind of like those old cars—no matter how we exercise or eat right, we still age and our bodies break down. We’re really just a bunch of old Chevy’s in the junkyard of life. But we have an advantage, we don’t have to sit and rust, we can be recycled into someone shiny and new too.
There’s a lot of stress and pressure in today’s world, and it’s easy to feel like a generic model that looks, dresses, and acts like every other model around us. Striving to be noticed can be a lot of unnecessary work when our goal is to impress someone like a boss or someone else that we feel has a higher station in life than we do. On every level, the world says we have to be better than someone else, we have to earn more, have more, be more, do more, and if we don’t, there’s something wrong with us and we’re not worth noticing. We even get caught up with that idea in our own heads, setting goals that we can’t attain and then beat ourselves up because we can’t. It causes discourse in every area of life and leads to a myriad of health problems like high blood pressure, but it also leads to mental health problems like depression and suicide. A recent report states that 13% of the population ages 12 and over is taking antidepressants, and 68% of those have taken the drugs for ten years or longer. However, that number is small compared to the 94% of the population who report having stress related health problems.
“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Yokes aren’t used much these days but in ancient times, they were heavy wooden implements that were used to team up oxen for heavy work, like plowing, pulling wagons, and other work that was too much for a human being. Stress and worry are a yoke that is too much for humans to bear. We all need rest, not just physical rest but mental rest. When we get mentally weary, we begin to lose hope and that’s when depression sets in. It can come from doing too much, worrying too much, berating ourselves for not achieving what we think we should, from taking the words of others to heart, and from having unrealistic expectations. But Jesus says if we come to Him, He will give us that rest. First, we must come to Him. That means we accept who He is as being absolute truth. Second, we take His yoke upon us, or we exchange yokes. Ours is heavy and wearisome, His is light and easy. Third, we learn from Him. Exchanging our knowledge of this life for His knowledge is a burden-lifting, stress-reducing, spirit-elevating event that leaves us feeling freer than we ever have before. Jesus can take any old jalopy and make it brand new again!
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (John 14:27).”
Read 2 Chronicles 11-15
©2018 Marie McGaha