Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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.
‘Trust lies at the heart of a functioning, cohesive team. Without it, teamwork is all but impossible.’ So states Patrick Lencioni in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Jossey-Bass). He could equally have said that good relationships are impossible without trust. Nor can our workplaces function without it. Trust is a natural part of everyday life – a client emails to confirm an appointment on Friday; I go because of trust in both their written communication and past experience of their reliability. Trust is not ‘wishful thinking’ or ignoring the facts.
To take Jesus’ yoke upon ourselves and learn from him is to trust him. We cannot relate to God without trust. Often the very reason we are ‘weary and heavy laden’ is that we refuse to entrust our burdens to him, preferring to rely on our own competence and strength. No wonder the offer of rest applies to those who are childlike in their willingness to depend on the Father whom Jesus reveals. As Jesus says, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children’ (Matthew 11:25).
The Father who Jesus reveals is one that we can lean on with total assurance and trust with all our heart (unlike perhaps, some of our earthly fathers). So it is that when we are trusting God we are relying on:
• His Covenant: God has entered into a binding covenantal commitment with those who believe in Jesus
• His Character: God is good and loving, and these aspects of his nature characterise everything he says and does
• His Competence: God is ‘able’ – there is nothing impossible for him, no situation beyond him
• His Communication: God speaks and his sheep (disciples) hear his voice
• His Clock: God is never late – his clock keeps perfect time
On 14 October we launch our fifth prayer pathway, ‘Trusting God’, focussing on how to deepen our trust in God in these five areas within the sometimes pressurised context of our current situations, and to receive the rest offered to us by Jesus. Join this renewing prayer journey!
Bev Shepherd is the PrayerWorks project leader and an LICC associate speaker. As a management trainer and coach she specialises in the areas of leadership, team dynamics and stress, and is the author of Insight into Stress published by CWR.