All Who Are Weary, by Sarah J. Hauser
35/60 | Started 05.21.23 • Finished 08.03.23 | 5 stars
This one right here is one of the best I've read all year. I took a while to read it as I was doing it for a summer book club my church was putting on, and I'm almost glad I had to slow down and read it and sit with parts of it at a time. This is a book I needed a few years ago, but as I've told people about it, I wonder if maybe I just wasn't ready for it. I'm so glad it's out there in the world now, and I already bought an extra copy to hand to the first person that comes to mind.
The truth is that there is no lighter burden than what Christ gives us. Even so, we heap weight after weight upon our backs—burdens we were never meant to carry. And we’re exhausted because of it. It’s time to take those off.... There is no easier burden, no lighter yoke, than to be able to walk through life fully assured of the truth of who God is, what He says about you, and what He has called you to do.
Hauser begins by laying out the appeal of finding rest for your soul, and what exactly that means and looks like. She closes by diving into what we should be carrying instead - the easy yoke of Christ. In between, she covers 9 burdens we can carry as we go through life. These burdens are not particular to women only; however, I do know that they are ones that women tend to carry.
The evil one would love us to fall for his deception. He wants nothing more than to leave us wallowing in our misery, paralyzed by this burden of worthlessness.
On that day, Christ didn’t dismiss the accusations as baseless but took all that condemnation upon Himself. No matter our past, no matter our faults, no matter our mistakes, He took all of them to the cross. It really is finished! And there is nothing you or I could do to undo the work of our Savior.
Sometimes we get so focused on what we can see that we lose sight of the hope we have in what is unseen. We forget we serve the same God who parted the Red Sea and provided manna from heaven. He’s our Creator and Sustainer, the one who calmed storms and raised the dead. If he has that kind of power, then “is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen 18:14). Our need to feel safe is real and good and valid, and our fears and worries alert us that something’s off. But instead of being consumed by our worries and fears, those things can nudge us to find safety in our God.
The church should be the foremost place where we demonstrate we are not self-sufficient. The very gospel we proclaim says we cannot save ourselves—and we don’t have to. Not only do we hold on to this belief individually by confessing our need for salvation and coming to Jesus daily, but we also live it out by loving one another as Christ has loved us.
Beware of anyone who tells you to find yourself by only looking at yourself…. there is no wholeness, no fulfillment, no security in giving up reflecting God’s image so we can create and manage our own image instead.
Comparing our sin sets us up for either self-righteousness or self-condemnation. We either take on the role of the Pharisee in Luke 18, believing we have earned God’s grace; or we believe we’re too far gone, our sins too big for grace ever to reach us. But grace is not given based on the merits of the recipient but because of the character of the Giver.
My perfectionism may not show up in the tidiness of my kitchen or the decor on my walls, but it lurks beneath the surface of my heart and mind. Perfectionism is about control—and I like control. Perfectionists often want to make sure we appear put together. We want our kids to stay well behaved, and we’d like our relationships or reputation to align perfectly with our own ideals. We want to be in control of what other think or what happens in a given circumstance.
The death of Christ, His victory over sin and death, His resurrection, and His forever rule and reign make Jesus worthy of everything. If that is true, then nothing we do for the glory of God in the name of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit is a waste.
It’s here, in this seemingly hopeless middle, that God not only hears our cries and our laments, but He even goes so far as to lean in next to us while we weep in the darkness. He puts His arm around our shoulders, presses our head against His chest. And He waits with us for the morning.
This book really is gold. If you're feeling burdened down by the weight of life - the cares of the world but also the cares of the nitty gritty, day in, day out experience - then I'd commend this one to you. It's accessible, gentle, compassionate, and packed with scripture that will point you to the best burden-bearer there is: Jesus.