“Heavily burdened” in Matthew 11:28 is the Greek word fortizo which comes from fortus meaning “the freight of a ship.” So Jesus is inviting those whose ships are overloaded (metaphorically speaking!) to come to Him and let Him rest them.
Why would someone overburden their ship?
What about pride? “I can handle that!”
Or being harsh and not taking care of the ship.
Been there, done that… many times!
And I’ve been at the other extreme too, being self-protective, not taking on things the Lord wants me to.
A ship’s capacity depends on the waters it will pass through as well as the weather. In Acts 27:18 when Paul’s ship encountered a violent storm they had to throw all the cargo overboard (as did the sailors in Jonah 1:5)
Only the Lord knows what storms lie ahead in my life (or if things will be relatively calm so I can handle more!). That’s why I need to look to Him to determine not only what I can handle but also how much. He alone knows!
Oh Lord, please help me only take on my ship what you want me to, when you want me to, letting you not only be the owner but also the captain!
All I wanted was to live near friends!
Yet when we flew out here to look for a home nothing in our price range was available near anyone we knew. The house we did find was 15 minutes (at least!) away in the middle of the city.
At first I cried. But then I thought, “Maybe the Lord has a new friend waiting for me in the neighborhood whom I haven’t met yet!” So for four weeks as I walked and prayed daily, I was on the hunt to find her. Sunday mornings, as we visited different churches, also provided opportunities… but week after week my hopes were dashed.
After four weeks meeting no potential friends I was so upset! Until… our first sabbatical team meeting!
Judy Levan said, “Go slow in making friends, Deb. Your sabbatical is a special time for getting alone with God. You don’t want to get so busy with people you miss that.”
And I realized, God wasn’t preventing me from making friends, He is protecting me!
If I’d had my way my schedule would’ve already been full with people! Suddenly my frustration turned to praise! It would’ve been so hard to back track! Truly He knows just what I do (and don’t!) need!
Thank you Lord!