Everyone has heard of Napoleon, right? No, not the ice cream! The French Military leader from the 1800’s that is most commonly associated with the term Napoleon Complex. It’s a term that is used to describe aggressive people who are lacking in the height department. The crazy thing is, the term itself is actually a misconception. It’s a misconception because Napoleon was really 5'7" which was slightly taller than the average Frenchman at the time. This simple misconception not only shaped a part of history, but it literally shaped a person (punny, I know).
Similarly to Napoleon, there is a misconception about life as a Christian. As believers, myself included, we have the misconception that because we follow Jesus, our lives will no longer be hard. The idea that we will have a perfect, pain-free, easy, you-will-get-everything-you-pray-for view of life tends to shape our view of God, ourselves and those around us.
Don’t get me wrong- our lives are transformed and made better because we are made new in Jesus. But, we were never promised a pain-free life. However, we were promised something else.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. ”
We were promised that when we are exhausted, Jesus will not only carry our heavy burdens, but He will give us rest. Did you hear that? We can give all of the hard things of life to someone else to carry AND get rest while doing it!
Just to clarify…
- Following Jesus doesn’t mean you will not have heavy burdens → it means Jesus will carry them
- Following Jesus doesn’t mean the heavy things will magically disappear → it means Jesus will take the weight of it all off of you
- Following Jesus doesn’t mean you will not get tired and worn down → it means Jesus will give you rest
Don’t give into the misconception. Life is heavy and painful. The unexpected bad news, the broken relationships, the sin that you can’t get away from — all of these things are difficult. But, we were never told it wouldn’t be. Jesus reminds us to expect heavy things, but to also remember that He will carry them for us.
Rest in the peace that comes from pursuing the only One who gives rest, the only One who gives peace and the only One who carries your burdens. Rest in Jesus.