wrestling and wheelbarrows

4938144-large-quotation-marks  LOVE turns work into rest.  ~Teresa of Avila

During Lent, I am deepening my journey by reading 2 resources–a book of daily breath prayers written by a dear friend as her final project for our Spiritual Guidance program, and an online Lenten devotional compiled by a new friend (Hope Rising: Finding Worth in the Wilderness).

This morning as I reflected on the quote and breath prayer for today (Resting in Love) and the Hope Rising word for today (Bearable), I was having difficulty connecting the two.

I pondered for a minute–in the midst of my own wrestling and wandering, it seems like a far stretch to think that Love could turn work into rest, and in essence, make this work of wrestling bearable.

When my sister and I were young, my parents tilled up part of our suburban backyard and planned out a large vegetable garden (long before that was trendy).  Dad used a rusty green wheelbarrow to carry dirt and supplies around the garden.  He made it look so easy.

I remember the first time I tried the wheelbarrow on my own.  It was so heavy that my small body could barely balance it, and it immediately tipped over.  I tried it again, but with my short arms and lack of strength, I couldn’t manage the load.  I wrestled with that equipment, but to no avail.  It was too much work for such a little child.

That’s when my dad came over, took one handle, told me to take the other, and we walked the wheelbarrow down the hill to the garden.  His compassion for the situation and love for me made the work bearable.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus reminds us:

Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Put My yoke upon your shoulders—it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

During this season of Lent, may we remember that God is with us there in the wrestling, there in the wilderness.

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