I remember my first mission trip to Arizona. It was emotionally and physically the most difficult trip to date, of all of my trips. Somehow my zeal for missions was exponentially increased. Definitely a “God thing.”
One day, during a devotional time, God gave me a scripture that I immediately internalized. “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:37-38. I recall where I was sitting, the smell of the air, the color of the sky, tinged with the rays of the setting sun. In my heart, at that moment, I vowed to take up my cross and follow my Savior at any cost. For me, it is and always has been a no-brainer.
Other scriptures elude me, regardless of how I try to embody them. I’ve always related to Martha more than Mary. Generally–at home, at work, at church, I’m the one running around, cleaning up dishes, cooking dinner, setting things up, tearing things down, making sure everything is running smoothly for the feast. I’ve read, “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.” Matthew 11:28-30. I’ve tried to put Jesus’ yoke on. I’ve recited this scripture countless times. I’ve begged God for His yoke. I’ve cried bitter tears, wondering why God would forsake me and not allow me rest.
This Christmas, God gave me a gift–actually many gifts–for which I have been asking. Looking at the past few months, I’ve actually had the gifts and have been walking in them. I spent much of Christmas day with the Jacksons. I had the opportunity to talk trash on my pastor as my team beat his at “Deal or No Deal.” I was heckled by him as my Cowboys were crushed by his Eagles. I really enjoyed my Christmas–no stress, no weirdness, no aggravation. As I was driving home down Rt. 70, I heard Matthew 11:28-30. And I realized that I now have Jesus yoke. My soul is truly at rest.
When you are where God has called you to be, doing what He has created you to do, your soul can rest. It is the natural effect of walking in His will. For the first time in my life, I am not looking for the next opportunity to jet off to another place in the world. I am satisfied in NJ because I know that this is where God wants me. He hand-picked The Sanctuary, Pastor John, Voorhees Township to be in my life for such a time as this. Yes, my family life is chaotic at best. Yes, I need a less temporary job. But, even in those tings I find favor in my Savior’s sight. Because I am where God has called me to be, doing what He’s called me to do.