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What to Do When the Unexpected Becomes Unbearable — iWork4Him


Christmas is past, and New Year’s is swiftly approaching. In this strange, in-between time, it’s tradition to pause and reflect on the past year and the one to come; on the good, the bad, and the hoped-for. 

 As Gen-Xers, our personal life involves aging parents, so our 2021 held a series of medical surprises, including heart surgery, COVID-19 complications, and hospitalizations. These unexpected twists and turns took a severe mental and emotional toll on our parents (as they walked through it) and us (as we helped to care for them). So, something we’ve wrestled with in this season is the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 11:28-30, 

 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you… for my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” 

 As we reflected on 2021, we came to realize that something must be awry in our lives because the burden hasn’t felt easy or the yoke light. In the face of uncertainty, we tried to do too much on our own – carrying our parents and the ministry of iWork4Him on our backs until we were worn out, stressed, and exhausted. 

 There had to be another way. 

 In the face of difficulty, hardship, the unknown, and the unexpected – how do we trade in our burdens and find rest? How do we carry on WELL both as people and as leaders?  

 I think the answer is in the above verse. The imagery of Matthew 11 is a yoke, and a yoke only works if there are two oxen in it. Perhaps what Jesus was saying is, “let’s put the yoke on together.” Him and us. And the “us” is more than just the TWO of us (Jim and Martha) … because God created us to be in community.  

 Even a 1,000lbs can be manageable if enough people are helping to lift it. So too, can our burdens be made light when we share the load with Christ and with the community of believers. 

 In 2022, there will undoubtedly be more surprises and more unexpected twists and turns. But our hope is that we will experience the rest and ease that comes from Christ in us and us in the community of believers. 

 What about you? Are you tired of living in stress, exhaustion, and anxiety? Remember, you were never meant to carry the burden alone! To hear how each member of the iWork4Him team has experienced Christ in us in the community of believers in 2021, tune in to last week’s Podcast.

Would you consider the words of Jesus and pursue his light burden and his easy yoke? That’s what we’re going to do. We hope you join us. 

–       Jim and Martha

Used with permission from Jim Brangenberg.

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