Friday, February 10, 2017

A Frame for the Weary

I haven’t posted here for months, not since around the presidential election in November. The truth is between surgery last fall, the holidays, our exhausting political climate, an unusually full workload in January, and a few realities in my world that invite at least minimal worry, I’ve become a bit weary.

Weary is not fatal. It’s not even depression. But it’s tiring and can suffocate a life of gratitude. If you let it, it can make you feel like an empty frame. You're holding together, yet something is missing right in the middle.

Thankfully, my surgery seems to have eradicated cancer from my body. But I've felt weary with the ongoing testing, with waiting for results…again. With thinking about my cancer at all.

I’ve been wearied by cold weather. Wearied by a common sinus/cough thing that, in the words of a healthcare professional about all of us so sickened, “just doesn’t seem to want to go completely away.” Wearied by a DVR that had to be replaced, a contractor who didn’t return calls, important mail miss-delivered, receiving a document about jury duty although I’ve served on three juries already. (Okay, that was in a different state, but three still seems like enough.)

Weary. Just plain weary. By the big and the small. Pick-me-ups—seeing a movie, visiting with family and friends, planning a spring vacation—help. But they don't provide the bigger lift I tend to look for when weariness hits. And then I become weary of me, feeling like a complainer with nothing much to complain about.

The Scripture we all think of when we’re weary is Matthew 11:28–30 (NIV): “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.”

An NIV Study Bible note says Jesus’s statement was “probably a reference to the ‘heavy…loads’ the Pharisees placed ‘on other people’s shoulders by insisting on a legalistic interpretation of the law.'” And we can spend a lot of time unpacking what Jesus meant by referring to his "yoke." But today, if he’s also talking to me, my reaction is, what burden? Right now, I can’t say I am “burdened.” I know of too many people suffering in this world to think of myself as burdened. The average stay-at-home parent is more burdened amid the joy of raising children than I am burdened by, well, anything. Not now.

Yet I believe the Lord offers all of us—the weary of all kinds, the weariness that can come from even the small—his rest. In these weary days, I have heard again, “Come to me, all you who are weary.”

And so I go. I don't need to be an empty frame, holding myself together without joy. Without rest. The rest he offers to fill me is so much more than anything else I could find.

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