It’s a Sunday night and I’m laying in bed.
To my left sleeps my husband, who heads back to work tomorrow for his long, fifteen-hour day.
To my right, my almost six-month old son who is back on newborn time and waking every two hours to nurse, is sleeping for the moment.
Down the hall, my two-year-old sleeps soundly in one room while my five-year-old sleeps in the other, separated from his younger brother because he’s fighting that nasty cold/flu that’s going around.
And typical me, I’m laying here wide awake, with what feels like the world on my shoulders, unable to rest.
Does anyone else feel this way sometimes? Most often for me, the feeling of bearing the weight of everything comes on the eve of the beginning of our week. In our home, a work week is three fifteen-hour days, which means I am on and running solo from five in the morning until ten at night, three days a week. Many aspects of my husband’s schedule are a blessing, but I’ll be honest, it’s pretty tiring sometimes.
Now, most people who know me know that my biggest enemy is anticipation. I’m pretty good at getting myself psyched out.
So as I lay here, I’m thinking of all the things I will likely do in the next nine hours of night time. Things like nurse the baby, check my son’s temperature, and pray for my husband at four-thirty tomorrow morning before he leaves for work. This doesn’t even touch the things I will do once it’s daylight.
I know for a fact that many other moms feel the same way when they lay down at night. Is it any wonder that we’re exhausted?
Here’s the deal, ladies. I don’t think that this is what God wants for us. In fact, I’m sure it’s not.
You know how I know?
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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30
Read that again. And again. Breathe it in for a minute. I know that I need to.
When Jesus offered us His yoke, I am positive that it did not entail us holding the whole world’s weight to ourselves. In fact, I am pretty sure that was His job in the first place.
It is so easy for us to place our own burdens on ourselves, ones that we expect of us or believe that others must expect of us. And in doing so, in the midst of the toiling and worrying and mental hand-wringing, we are making the choice to rob ourselves of that rest that God promises us right there in His Holy Word.
Jesus did not die so that we could wrestle out these things ourselves. His intention was not that we would accept His infinite grace, only to refuse His help. We live like we are worn from the weight, but really, we are washed in the blood. It’s time to start living that out instead.
Now, in the spirit of being honest, I don’t really know how we go about changing all of this. Even after this realization, I’m still just a mom, laying in her bed, fretting about the night to come and the day tomorrow.
But here’s what I do know: even though I may not know, I know the One who does.
So I’m going to pray for us tonight, moms. For each of us who battles against worry and anxiety, for each of us who feels like she carries the weight and well-being of her whole family. I am praying for you.
Lord Jesus, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace…
You are so faithful and so mighty. You tell us in Your word that You quiet us with Your love and that You rejoice over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). You also tell us to rest in You.
In a world where we put so many faulty expectations on ourselves, one of the few things that You expect from us is to seek You and seek the rest that You offer us. Lord, You know how hard it is for moms to rest. You know how our minds race and our hearts ache, You know better than anyone else could know, even ourselves.
Lord, would You lead us into that place of rest? Guide us and show us what it looks like to walk to Your feet, hand You our yoke of burdens, and take on Yours instead. Allow us to feel the weightlessness that follows, knowing that You will care for all of those things we have handed off. And Lord, grant us self-control, that we might not wrestle them back from You.
We trust You. We trust Your goodness, Your grace, Your care, and Your might.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Okay, mommas. I’m praying that prayer tonight, too. Hand off those worries to the only One whose hands are big enough to hold them.
And now? Go get some sleep.
Much love to each and every one of you.