Summer Fare: Summer Stress Addressed

June 28, 2015 • Filed under:

    silver3                 

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:30).

What?!?

Does anyone else struggle with summers?

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As summer approaches each year and the countdown begins for school to end, this is what I dream…

  • The clock is not the master of my time.
  • Natural rhythms of life can instead be our guide.
  • College kids are home and I can catch up on their lives.
  • Husband’s job hours are more flexible and there’s more time for family fun.
  • People come and go with cheerful hellos and good-byes.
  • Bedtimes aren’t quite to regulated.
  • The pool is a place for leisurely times of reading or conversing meaningfully with neighbors amidst delighted squeals of laughter from happy children.

Summer looks so delightful in my imagination.

Anyone laughing yet?

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In my reality at least, summer can be extremely stressful. I assume the same is true for you, at least on some days.

Relaxed routine + more people within the same four walls that don’t normally live together (can=) chaos, clamor and squabbling.

Oh, yes, the summer dreams can fade.

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But when I feel the strain and weight on my shoulders, I think of this verse.

No. I CLAIM this verse as TRUE.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:30).

How can this verse actually be true (because it is true)?

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My yoke is easy.

Jesus asks us to only please one Person. Him. (Yoke is easy.)

I do NOT have to please my husband and my child.

Rather, I get to pick what glorifies God in a situation. What glorifies God may make one of them happy, or both of them happy, or neither of them happy.

But…as long as GOD is pleased with me, I am pleased with me. (Yoke is easy.)

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My burden is light.

Jesus asks us to do doable things so He can have room to do God-sized things.

God asked Moses to stretch out his hand over the Red Sea in Exodus 14:21. (Doable)

God parted the Red Sea. (God-sized.)

Moses stretched out his hand over the Red Sea again in Exodus 14:27. (Doable)

God put the Red Sea back together again. (God-sized)

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What stresses us out isn’t the behavior, it’s behaving to produce a certain effect.

  • I can make brownies for a neighbor. No stress.
  • I make make brownies for a neighbor so she will like me. Stress.

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  • I can discipline my child. No stress.
  • I can discipline my child to make sure he or she turns out well. Stress.

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  • I can do a good job at work. No stress.
  • I can do a good job at work in order to get promoted. Stress.

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  • I can express my views in a conflict. No stress.
  • I can express my views in a conflict in order to convince someone to change their views. Stress.

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Jesus never asks us to produce a particular effect.

He just asks us to follow Him and obey Him with doable behaviors, and the rest is up to Him.

We were never meant to carry the weight of the results on our shoulders.

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Results occur through the power of the Holy Spirit who operates in and through Christ followers.

The Holy Spirit lives in me.

(2 Corinthians 1:21-22; John 16:6-7, Romans 8:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:13).

He has power; I don’t.

He produces the effects, I don’t.

(John 16:7-15; John 6:63)

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  • I cannot make my kids turn out. Neither can you.
  • But we can behave intentionally as parents and give God room to enter in and do God-sized things. (Burden is light.)

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  • I can’t make anyone become interested in Jesus. Neither can you.
  • But we can tell people about Jesus and give God room to enter in and do God-sized things. (Burden is light)

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  • I can’t respond well to my circumstances. Neither can you.
  • But we can ask the Holy Spirit to respond well for us and do God-sized things in our personal character and growth (Galatians 5:16, 22, 25). (Burden is light.)

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We have to do hard things, yes, but the real weight is always being carried by God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit who invade our circumstances with Their power if we let them.

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When I feel the weight on my shoulders and stop to think and pray under the strain, I usually discover that I am either

  • trying to please more than one Person or
  • trying to produce a particular effect with my actions.

No wonder doing things in our own strength is stressful.

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This week, let’s live the reality that is found in Christ,

In Christ, our yoke is easy and our burden is light (Matthew 11:30).

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Question for blog readers: What parts of summer stress you?

© 2015 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

 

4 Comments

  • LB says:

    Thank you for this reminder to keep our focus always on the Lord and be concerned only with pleasing Him!

  • Jewl says:

    “When I feel the weight on my shoulders and stop to think and pray under the strain, I usually discover that I am either

    trying to please more than one Person or
    trying to produce a particular effect with my actions.
    No wonder doing things in our own strength is stressful.”

    Good stuff, Laurie!

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