(heavy load in Dhaka, Bangladesh, photo by Adli Wahid, on Unsplash)
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
The invitation has been extended
with a promise of a lightened burden.
Words spoken before the Lord ascended
to ears of all who remain uncertain
how to unload the oppressive millstone
so tightly tied around every neck.
When faced with trials we’d rather bemoan
the injustice of life’s latest train wreck
and sink further under the weight of night.
Yet the heaviness stays in the morning
despite the promise of the sun’s new light
as self-reliance ignores the warning –
a far lighter yolk is up for the trade,
since heavy loads were not why man was made.
I think of Jonah fast asleep below
while panicked crew battle the storm outside.
What caused him to flee instead of follow
the plain instructions of God; was it pride?
He must have had plenty of time to think
in the lonely innards of that great fish.
Drowning by faith but not allowed to sink,
until steadfast prayers brought forth his wish.
Lord, please also spit me onto dry land.
The cares of this life have swallowed me whole.
To obey what you have divinely planned
gives hope to this ever-wandering soul.
Nicholas Froumis practices optometry in the Bay Area. His writing has been nominated
for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Blessed Creation: A Christian Poetry Collection, Torrid Literature Journal, Beechwood Review, The Penwood Review, and BALLOONS Lit Journal. He lives in San Jose, CA, with his wife, novelist Stacy Froumis, and their daughter.