Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Rest For the Meek
Hannah Whitall Smith's words come to me this morning, an echo of words I had written in a notebook only a week ago:
"The greatest burden we have to carry in life is self."
The words in my notebook were from A.W. Tozer:
"Our burden is interior. It attacks the heart and the mind and reaches the body only from within. First there is the burden of pride. The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. The heart's fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy will never let the mind have rest.
Jesus calls us to rest, and meekness is His method."
" Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
We work hard to find rest in the midst of lives with to-do lists a mile long. We write about it, take pictures of it and set aside days to practice it. The rest Jesus offers is a state of being. It is rest in the turmoil of daily living. He says we can find it by being meek.
It is not the meekness of a down-trodden life He speaks of. It is the meekness of seeing rightly who we are in Him. It is the meekness that cares nothing for the approval of others and doesn't envy the successes of others. It is a meekness that as Tozer writes: "...has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort." It is hard work, this seeking a nod and a pat on the back from the world. It means putting on a self that tries to be all things to all people.
When we are truly meek (humble), we see our own smallness against God's greatness, and at the same time see the infinite worth He places on our individual lives. "In himself nothing; in God everything." The world may never see us as our Father sees us. When we come to the place where His opinion matters more than theirs', we will find rest; when what we appear to be to others is of less importance that what we are in Him, we will find rest.
It is a heavy burden, this caring who I am in the eyes of others, but it takes great courage not to. Jesus asks us to exchange the yoke of pride and pretense for His yoke of finding our worth in Him.
"It will take some courage at first, but the needed grace will come as we learn that we are sharing this new and easy yoke with the strong Son of God Himself. he calls it 'My yoke,' and He walks at one end while we walk at the other."
Linking to my sweet friend Jennifer today:
quotes taken from "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer