These were the tear-filled words of my friend as I sat across the table from her listening to her share her struggles to find normal after years and years of addiction. She had just listed off her celebrations – things she did accomplish, things she had never done before because it was just too hard – she had lived a life of defeat, running to other substances when the weight of the daily responsibilities began to push her under – unable to breathe. She had left that life – saying no, standing firm and not looking back. But as she looked forward to the next week, and the new list of responsibilities, the things that needed to be done, I saw her sink in her chair and the tears flowed from a heart overwhelmed with sorrow and stress and difficulty. She used to run to a false “savior” to make her forget the stress, the sorrow, the difficulties, the hurt. But that was no longer an option – she was weary of doing good and she felt stuck.
“I should be able to handle this now. Everybody else can handle their stuff. So I just need to handle it but I am so stressed out!”
At that moment, I realized – I am just like her. I think I should be able to handle the stresses and difficulties of life on my own. I see everyone else “making life work”, so what’s wrong with me that I can’t? I should be capable. I should be able to handle it.
But I can’t.
When life gets overwhelming, I run, just like my friend used to, to another “savior”. It can be anything – I am quite creative. But whatever it is, it dulls the pain and postpones the inevitable – but it doesn’t save. In fact it draws me further away from my true Savior. The one who calls me to Himself. The one who enables me to persevere in even the most difficult circumstances. The one who promised to walk with me down every path of life he calls me to. The one who said, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy burdened, 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.(Matt. 11:28-30)”
There is no other Savior as loving as Jesus. There is no other savior as kind as Jesus. And there is certainly no other savior as worthy as Jesus. He has proved himself again and again, but his ultimate proof was his willing giving of himself on the cross to do that which we are completely unable to do for ourselves.
Run to him and find rest for your weary soul. You don’t have to handle it – I don’t have to handle it. He has for us.