"The cross is easier to him who takes it up than to him who drags it along." J.E. Vaux
I find this quote quite intriguing. As I think about it and look at my life and the lives of people around me, the picture of a child throwing a temper tantrum comes to mind.
Maybe you've experienced the scene in a grocery store or as a babysitter or with a younger sibling: a child is told that it's time to take a nap or go to bed or brush his teeth or whatever. Even though the child is EXHAUSTED and really does need that sleep, fighting the exhaustion to play for 15 more minutes sounds like a better plan. When the parent or babysitter tries again to tell him to get ready for bed he lays on the floor and kicks and screams.
Isn't that how we act in life a lot? We know that God's way is what we really need. We know that God is good and faithful and knows what's best for us. Yet, we fight against that. We hold onto the pain or exhaustion or confusion. Maybe that's what's just familiar and God's way is unknown. Perhaps what we're holding onto just seems more fun. Or maybe even the "screaming" gets the attention we desperately desire from the people around us.
We see examples of these "temper tantrums" in God's Word as well. Isaiah wrote this about God's people in chapter 28:
"God will speak to his people, to whom he said, 'This is the resting place, let the weary rest'; and 'This is the place of repose' but they would not listen." (Isa. 28:11-12)
God is telling his people, "Come on! I want to give you rest! You know you need it. You know you want it. Please, just stop fighting me."
But they will not listen.
Whether it's the Israelites in the Old Testament who are throwing the temper tantrum or you and me right now, God's response is the same.
He stands next to us, persistently and patiently loving us. He knows we need the rest. He knows that His plan is better than ours. He knows that His plan is good. But He doesn't push that on us. No, He stands by waiting for us to wear ourselves out, to give in, to realize that He was right all along and stop fighting. Then He picks us up and says, "Okay, now rest, my child!" And a peace overcomes us and we realize that nothing else really matters anymore.
"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance." (2 Thess. 3:5)