Are we even getting anywhere at all? This was my thought out loud as I wheeled what felt like the 100th wheelbarrow full of sticks, brush and small logs across our 3 acre lot, down a hill and into a fiery brush pile. Only to go back up the hill, back across the 3 acre lot for more cleaning up of the massive downed ash tree. (Dang bore beetles!)
My man assured me we were indeed getting somewhere as he continued to chainsaw and load wood into his trailer. It sure didn’t feel like it as I looked around at the mess still left.
On my last slower-than-when-she-started trip up the hill I had a couple thoughts come to mind:
~ Sometimes you need to look back to see how far you’ve come. ~
When I got back to where the felled tree was, I looked at the distance between where I had started raking and picking up sticks and small logs to where I now stood. I really WAS making progress. I simply needed to look back to realize just how far I’d come.
The past couple of years have been insane for our family. Good stuff, bad stuff, hard stuff, confusing stuff. You name it; we had it. Like that giant ash tree that landed hard and shot limbs far out and deep in the ground, we had some stuff to clean up. On the days when I feel like I’m not making progress, it’s healthy to look back at where we were to see just how far we’ve come. We ARE making progress! I’m not where I once was.
~ Slow and steady is better than not at all. ~
Man did I ever slow down toward the end of the day of wheelbarrowing! I kept thinking, Just one more load. You can do this!
And I did. Turtle pace is still a pace. Slow progress is still progress.
Remember that when the clean-up is slow. Remember that when you’re tired and don’t want to keep cleaning up. Remember that on the days when you are simply putting one foot in front of the other hoping to keep going inch by inch.
~ Rest in between the loads. ~
Every now and again my man and I stopped to have a rest. We sat down to catch our breath (and let our heart rate get back to normal!) On occasion we wondered if we were going to be able to get back up. But, sure enough we did. There was plenty more mess to clean up.
The past couple of years have been exhausting. Not so much physically, I suppose but definitely emotionally. I’m learning to rest in between the loads. The verse in Matthew 11 came to mind during one of those rest periods…
Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (v28)
I’ve read this verse many times but one thing struck me differently this time. Jesus says He will give those who are tired and heavy burdened rest but He doesn’t necessarily say that He will take the load away.
In fact He tells us that in this world we will have trouble. (John 16:33)
Thanks for the encouragement Lord, right? Hang with me here. He doesn’t ask us to bear our burdens alone which brings me to my next thought…
~ The bigger stuff took some extra help ~
There were some logs that were simply too big for me to carry in my wheelbarrow. There were some logs that, when they came down, stuck straight into the ground and could not be pulled out by hand.
Enter stage right, my man and his tractor. He heaved and hoed some of those I couldn’t get (he is a wee bit stronger than me) and the ones he couldn’t get we worked on together.
Jesus went on to say in Matthew 11:29-30, 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.
This is a beautiful picture of grace. No, He doesn’t necessarily take the burden away. He wants to join us in helping lift the heavy load. He desires to walk beside us, yoked together, sharing the burden. He gives our weary souls a reprieve.
So I’m learning. Learning to stay yoked to the One who is my Heavy Lifter. Learning to not only see what still needs to be done but celebrating how far I’ve come. Learning that turtles do get where they need to go….slow and steady is good sometimes and I hear it wins races. Learning that though the world is full of troubles, I am a friend to the One who has overcome the world.
All this from a day outside, in the sunshine and with my trusty wheelbarrow. God knows I need simple lessons to some complex problems. And He delivered.
Fiercely for YOU!