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.
Raise your hand if you love carrying something heavy.
That makes neither of us, right? I never relish towing a burdensome load, but it seems like there's always one sitting around just waiting for me to pick it up.
During my college days, I learned how to carry all of my heavy groceries up three floors from the parking lot to my campus apartment in just one trip-car to kitchen counter. My continuing goal was to be "One Trip MacCorkle" and not to have to go back downstairs a second time. Ever.
Back then, paper bags were still in heavy rotation and no one seemed to be toting reusable cloth bags quite yet. That meant it wasn't always easy to carry all of one's groceries from store to abode (there were no handles, you see), So it was precarious to say the least, but I still took great pride in carrying all of my own bags in just one trip.
I remember another time years later when I was carrying some other heavy things. I was racing to make a connecting flight in the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport with only about 10 minutes to spare between landing, de-planing, running through the various concourses and getting to my next flight-all while carrying a jam-packed tote bag, a heavy winter coat, a suitcase and wearing boots. Yikes!
I don't think I'd ever run so fast in all of my life. The coat and suitcase were flailing on either side of me, and I'm sure I clipped a passerby or maybe knocked someone completely over as I hoofed it full speed. But the hour was late, I was traveling alone and I didn't want to spend the night in St. Louis. So I muscled up and did what I had to-no matter who got hurt in the process. By the time I got to the gate, I was a sweaty mess, very close to tears and ready to crumble in a heap.
These acts of carrying heavy things are examples of what most of us go through internally each and every day. We all carry something. Either out of pride and feeling good about what we can do all by ourselves or out of fear and desperation because our situations look bleak and we don't know what else to do.
But you and I are not made to shoulder these physical, emotional or spiritual burdens all alone. And when we try to, we hurt other people (and ourselves) as we start dropping things and falling apart. So why don't we make an automatic beeline for Jesus and take his yoke upon us instead?
"Jesus' yoke is not lighter because he demands less, but because he bears more of the load with the burdened" (Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew).
When we give our lives to Christ, when we ask him to be Lord of our lives and submit to him, when we give him whatever we are carrying, he will lead us and he will shoulder the heavier things.
If you haven't already, invite him into your heart today. And discover a new way of doing life with a gentle, humble Savior. He is waiting and wants you to experience his rest.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
What is weighing you down today? The threat of world war? Uncertainty about your future? Fear of losing your job or frustration in not finding one? A relationship that is unraveling or one that hasn't yet materialized? Whatever it is, ask God to help you enter into his rest, to take his yoke and to learn what he wants to teach you.