“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. Matthew 11:28-30
Our culture today seems to thrive on being busy. Ask almost anyone “How are you?”, and the answer is often “Tired.” We are taking care of families, serving in churches, ministries, schools and communities, often while holding down a job outside the home too. At church we teach Sunday School, sing in the choir, keep the nursery, volunteer in the church office, and when there is an illness or funeral, we are there with a covered dish in hand. There is no limit to the demands on our time and energy. We’re a lot like Martha in Luke 10:38-42. We see something that needs to be taken care of, and we jump into action. I wonder if we serve and work to the point of exhaustion because we feel a need to prove our faith to God and our worth to others. Is Satan the one who keeps telling us to push ourselves so hard, in order to wear us down, so he can berate us for being so weak?
Jesus offers us a better way, as we see in the mental picture He painted in our opening Scripture. Oxen teams have long been used to plow the fields for planting and also for turning the heavy millstones used to grind the grain. A young ox would not be strong enough to do the hard work of plowing and milling alone. The farmer yokes a younger animal with a stronger, more experienced one, who would carry the majority of the work-load while “training the rookie,” and providing a calming influence.
Jesus is offering us an easy yoke as He promises to be the stronger presence on our “team,” to carry the burden, provide the strength, and work with us to accomplish His purposes. Jesus is no heavy-handed task-master. He assures us He is gentle and humble in heart, and will give us rest for our souls.
Are you weary of trying to do everything on your own? How long has it been since your soul was at rest? Maybe it’s time for you to step away from your exhausting burdens and allow Jesus to take the heavy load instead.
If He could bear the weight of the cross, He can carry you too.
Prayer: Jesus, sometimes the weight of the world becomes too heavy for me to bear. Please come and help me carry this load — better still Lord Jesus, please come and carry me. Amen