Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. – Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Do you ever feel weary or like you’re carrying a heavy burden? Do you ever feel like you’re at that point where you just might fall apart?
I’ve been there before. With two young, active kids at home, me and my wife are exhausted more often than not. Sometimes it seems like everything that could go wrong does—the kids are sick, the house needs cleaned, the cars need fixed, I had a bad day at work and I come home to find one more thing that broke that I can’t afford to pay someone else to fix and then my son decides to throw a tantrum over nothing.
If this was one unique, happens-every-now-and-then kind of day it might be more bearable.
But its more of a normal day that happens over and over again with only a few details changing.
When one day is tough and drains my energy, it usually runs into the next day which in turn starts out on the wrong foot as well. Then that day does the same thing to the next day. And the day after that.
Of course not all days are exactly the same and they are not all ridden with crises—but when I allow the bad days to knock me down and affect the attitude of my heart, even the good days can get tainted by it.
I recently asked my wife what she wanted to do for her birthday. She thought about it and responded that she would really like to check into a hotel room, even for just one night.
Of course I was intrigued at first, until she clarified that she would like to do this alone—by herself, no kids, no husband, no expectations. She just wants to get a break from the daily grind and the occasionally-controlled chaos that is our lives. She just wants to watch TV, then go to sleep without interruptions.
I often feel this way as well; I just need a break and some rest. But I rarely find it.
Jesus invites us to come to him, especially when we are weary, with heavy burdens. He says he will give us rest—that is, rest for our souls.
The phrase take my yoke upon you refers to two oxen being connecting together by a common yoke—they would carry or pull their heavy load together.
Jesus is saying that he wants to help you carry your burdens. He wants to teach you and guide you and give you rest in your relationship with Him.
You need only to take the step of coming to Him.
I’ve had a relationship with Jesus most of my life, but I often get caught up in my mess and forget that he doesn’t want me to be anxious, overwhelmed, and exhausted. He wants me to lay my burdens on Him; to rely on Him to guide and teach me and to give me real rest that lasts.
Contributor: Tyler J. Brooks, you can follow his work here.