Lessons for the Weary

As soon as I answered her call, I could hear the weariness in my friend’s voice. She is experiencing one of those incredible seasons of intimacy right now. It doesn’t feel like the comfortable “sitting at Jesus’ feet” type of intimacy, though.

For my friend, today’s invitation feels like the wilderness.

Ever been there?

Yesterday, we looked at Jesus’ invitation for us to come up close and personal to learn from Him. On Monday, I shared with you my focus verse for 2014:

[box]Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)[/box]

That invitation: “Come to ME” sounds so warm and fuzzy . . . it is a tender invitation, but the rewards of it are deeper and greater than “warm and fuzzy” experiences. Accepting that invitation involves getting acquainted with Jesus at a deeper level. And getting to that level of personal relationship involves some tough experiences.

Deeper intimacy with God usually requires climbing into the “yoke” He has for you, I call that “getting in the gap.” Jesus has lessons for us in this yoke of intimacy that we could never learn without climbing in with Him.

♥ Getting into the Gap with God

Remember Moses? He was the man God hand-picked. Of all the people on earth, God chose Moses to lead His people out of slavery. You talk about one gigantic assignment. I wonder how that went down in Moses’ mind . . .

“Let me see, one and a half million people being used as the predominant work force by the most powerful empire on earth . . . me, a renegade sheepherder . . . telling the most powerful man on earth that he needs to let me take that free-work-force off his hands . . . hmmm . . . no problem.”

I’ve never faced an assignment of that magnitude, but on certain days, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all that’s on my plate. And I’ve been real transparent with you about how I’ve had to climb into the “Gap” with God. In case you missed that post, let me share with you what the “Gap” is.

The “Gap” is that sacred place of intimacy with God where He invites you to fulfill an assignment that is greater and beyond your abilities in order for you to completely depend on Him to fulfill that assignment. 

Ever been there?

Sometimes we’re in what feels like an overwhelming and impossible spot, but we’re not experiencing it as a “sacred place,” because we’re in a “gap” of our own making. We’ve taken on too much, or we’ve stepped outside of God’s will for our lives, or we’ve encountered the harsh realities of our own sinful choices.

Sometimes we’re in a sacred place that is a “Gap” from God, but we’ve not yet recognized it as such and we’re fighting and resisting the difficulty. (That’s where I was in the early days of writing Fierce Women.) As long as we’re resisting stepping into the “yoke” that Jesus has for us, that sacred “Gap” where we’ll learn from Him, then we’ll never experience the rest He has for us.

There are other aspects to His invitation to intimacy. Anytime I think about really “knowing” Christ intimately, the Apostle Paul comes to mind. I think Paul knew Jesus at a level few ever experience. But Paul’s intimate relationship with Christ came with a price.

Tomorrow we’ll continue looking at Jesus’ invitation to intimacy and what Paul has to say about it, but today I want us just to stop here and take a pause. Take a moment to consider what it means for the God of the universe to issue those words to you: “Come . . .”

Has God invited you to climb into the Gap of intimacy with Him today?

Is there an assignment He’s given you that is beyond your natural abilities?

Perhaps it’s the assignment of new motherhood and you feel completely out of your comfort zone and stretched beyond your area of expertise. Bow your heart now and confess to God your frustration and fears. Ask Him to give you grace to complete His assignment and to provide practical help for you (like He did with providing Aaron for Moses). Perhaps there is an older woman in your church that you need to invite into your life who can pass on some helpful training for this season of your life.

Or maybe you’re at the other end of the spectrum. Perhaps you’re single, widowed, or abandoned, and you feel very much alone. You may be struggling with this season of solitude, and are unaware of how God desires to make you fruitful. Climb into that Gap with Him, that sacred place of intimacy, and ask Him to open your eyes to the needs around you. Ask Him to cultivate your heart with a sensitivity to His Spirit’s leading to minister to others.

You may be the woman who has so much on her plate, that you feel squeezed beyond measure. Perhaps you’ve given up long ago on intimacy with God because the rush of your life has pushed that priority far beneath the piles of your “to-do list.” Pause. Breathe in His grace. Ask Him to show you how to navigate the hectic pace. Invite Him to remove any activities you’ve taken on or responsibilities you’ve assumed that aren’t from Him. Appeal to Him to train you in discernment and to provide you with wise counselors who can aide you in trimming your schedule. In this busy season, ask Him to show you how to meet with Him in meaningful ways that can provide spiritual growth.

Ask Him to become your place of rest even in the pressure-filled moments of your day.

Where does this post find you today?

Are you in the Gap with God?

How is He inviting you to intimacy with Him?

Image courtesy of graur codrin/


  • Vivian Etherington

    This post finds me in the place you described in your last paragraph…squeezed beyond measure. So surprising, isn’t it?! I am fighting for that intimacy because I cannot live without it! Life is meaningless without it! This past week has been more than usual squeezing in my schedule with things my children are involved in, my husband out of town, and getting knocked out of normal life with an illness for 3 days. God is always there, even when I am not faithful! His love for me doesn’t change even though my emotions may be all over the place! I did have all day on Monday this week with a quiet house and I felt too badly to do anything but sit in my chair and study my Bible and listen to The Lord speak to my heart–that was a gift! Sometimes illness is really a blessing–forces me to slow down! May god help me to parent my children well in this busy season for all of us. You could pray to that end with me!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Viv ~

    You are definitely in the midst of that crunch season, and when you add sickness to your plate (while your husband is out of town!), that can push you to the point of feeling overwhelmed. I’m thankful that God is always faithful, no matter what our external pressures are, He provides the grace to navigate every pressure and stress. And so thankful you were able to have a day to be still in His presence!

    Pausing now to pray for you, friend!