We are having what one might call a “stressful” period in life. One “stress test” I saw in counseling training listed numbers for major and minor life events, which when added up might give a decent picture of how stressed someone was. Right now we’re off the charts. We’ve just welcomed baby #4 to the family, Nathan just got laid off, we’ve been trying to sell our house in time for an international move…so Nathan can start graduate school. In 3 weeks. Enough? Not to mention daily life with 4 children 4 and under. A couple of days ago I (Kathy) had a bad day. Cried pretty much all day. While taking a walk that night I thought about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Talk about a bad day there, and it only got worse. Yet Jesus can say to us in Matthew 11:28-30 “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.” Why is it that Jesus, who sweat blood in his agony, can say that he has an easy yoke?
The only answer I can come up with is that Jesus himself took it all to God the father. He was constantly praying, not just in Gethsemane, and he gave everything over to God – “not my will but thine.” In the garden God sent an angel to strengthen Jesus, something I noticed for the first time today. So for myself, I am reminded to give everything to God, and he will strengthen me and give me rest. I am not alone, and nothing that happens is ever a surprise to God. He knows every step I take (my favorite Psalm is 139). I guess I’m sharing this in case you’re having a bad day – maybe remembering Jesus in the garden will help you too.