I woke up in the middle of the night a few nights ago and that was the first word that popped into my head.
The only place I’ve ever read that word in is Matthew 11:28, but, more often than not, when I read this verse, I envision “heavy laden” to be more of an action. Maybe because it says “all who labor and are heavy-laden” AND because I’m a doer in life and don’t like to sit still, I tend to read these verses as something you do and not something you simply are.
But this night, heavy laden took on a whole new meaning in my soul. There aren’t a bunch of plates spinning in my life. I haven’t taken on too many projects. I’m not exhausted. I”m not sick.
Yet heavy-laden was the only word to describe my state of being at 2am.
In a few days, a friend is going to bury her 2 year old who 2 weeks ago was a vibrant and healthy young girl. Heavy-laden.
In addition, currently I am trying my hardest to help a young mom with her 2 year old and figure out how to parent my own children through this caregiving responsibility. The joy of having her in our home followed by the pain of taking her back to less than ideal living situations does a number on the emotions. Watching injustice and not being able to protect the innocent breaks both my kids’ and mine hearts a little every time we witness it. Heavy-laden.
There’s a reason Matthew 11:28 was put in the Bible.
“Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest”.
There are seasons in life where no matter how hard you try, you cannot change or fix the circumstances around you. God knew before the beginning of time how helpless we would feel when we get surrounded by the brokenness in the world, and I can’t help but believe this passage in Matthew was one of his ways of reminding us He is God. We don’t have to be.
His invitation to our brokenness isn’t advice on how to fix it or even how to understand it.
His solution is to simply come to Him and let Him be God and practice trusting Him. When we stop trying to be God but teach ourselves how to rely on God instead, we can experience His goodness even in the midst of brokenness.
This week, when the brokenness surrounds me, we mourn the death of a child, and my kids look at me with tears in their eyes begging me to fix a situation I have no control over, our household is going to practice taking God at his word and accepting his invitation to “come to me”.