Trying Too Hard

July 9, 2004
by Anne Russell

Matthew 11:28-30 – 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. (NIV)

I have come to the conclusion that in some ways I try too hard to "do". I was reading an article that made a lot of sense to me. It referred to the time when God reconciled us to Himself, at the moment that we asked Him into our hearts. It is from that very time that we have His approval, and we don't have to struggle with "doing" to gain His favour.

What brought this all about was a note from a friend saying that I had not been as active in writing devotional messages. Though I love to write, sometimes I have experienced times when the words just don't come. I found that if I tried to force the words, they meant nothing.

It is like God had placed a river before me, one that wound its way — sometimes running forcefully, and at other times just puddling. I had been struggling, puffing, and sweating to keep in stride against the current, when I found that I didn't have to prove anything to anyone, let alone to God; He already approves.

We can all look to this as a lesson in trying to gain His approval when we already have it. We need not struggle against the current, expending all our energy, because, if we let it, the power of that current will actually carry us to the destination God has appointed for us.

If we think that we are experiencing spiritual burnout and feel overwhelmed, it might be time to lay back in the river's current and let God carry us along. Though the river may twist and turn, we know that we have His approval, and He will unfold His plan. Let us trade in our weaknesses and inabilities for living in faith, for God's omnipotence will carry us through.

Prayer: Dear Lord, enable us to find strength in You, but at the same time let the glory be Yours. Help us to surrender to You in all that we attempt, for it is in and through You that we do our best to be obedient servants. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Anne Russell <annerussell80@gmail.com>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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