Work hard, work easy

A look at what Christ Jesus accomplished in a single day -- the places he traveled to, the people he healed, the opposition he faced, the students he taught -- reveals situations that would tax anyone's composure or peace of mind.

Yet in the Biblical descriptions we have of him -- authoritative, loving, firm -- there is nothing to indicate that he got tense or overwhelmed by the volume of his work. Jesus took things in stride, with apparent ease and naturalness.

How can we find this same ease of thought and action while dealing with today's stresses and strains? How can we work hard and still work easy? There are at least two lessons we might begin to learn from Jesus' calm example.

The first lesson involves priorities. Jesus took time to pray, even if this meant staying up at night.

What is so important about prayer? It brings us closer to God, especially when we realize, as Jesus must have, that we are actually the children of God -- loved, cared for, and protected by Him.

Prayer also gives us greater spiritual understanding, especially when we acknowledge (again as Jesus must have) that God is good and governs our activities. The deep sense of his Father that Jesus gained through prayer is doubtless what enabled him to counsel so compassionately: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me . . . . For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." n1

n1 Matthew 11:28-30;

At first, the thought of shouldering a yoke may not be very appealing. It sounds like hard work. But in fact, doesn't a yoke make it easier to carry a burden? Jesus' yoke, taken up as we learn more about him and his teachings, will certainly make us able to deal more easily with daily demands.

Mary Baker Eddy, a woman who met the demands of discovering Christian Science and of establishing a Church to perpetuate its teachings, writes, "With all the homage beneath the skies, yet were our burdens heavy but for the Christ-love that makes them light and renders the yoke easy." n2

n2 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 262;

A second lesson to learn from Jesus deals with his unwavering reliance on God. The Gospels show him turning attention and adulation from himself and to God, emphasizing that the power for doing good flows from God alone.

God, Truth, was not some remote, ethereal, future-life source of good to Jesus but a very real, close power that permeates the everydayness of human life. "It was the consummate naturalness of Truth in the mind of Jesus, that made his healing easy and instantaneous," n3 explains Mrs. Eddy.

n3 ibid.,m p. 200;

Jesus clearly knew that no demand could overwhelm his Father -- our Father -- or himself. And for the same reason, no demand can overwhelm us. In the words of Jeremiah, "Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee." n4

n4 Jeremiah 32:17.

We can remember this when the daily duties of home life, the pressures of the business world, or the tasks of caring for ourselves and others might tempt us to question, "How can I possibly do all this?" or "How can I possibly do all this?" or "How can I face another day?" We can turn to God, and remember to take up the yoke that is easy.

The more we follow Jesus' example, getting our priorities straight and relying on God, the more we are able to face demands with ease -- to be unruffled and effective in times of stress. Then we can still work easy whenever we are called on to work hard. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

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