Ever had an invitation you could not refuse? One where you change whatever plans you have on that day, to ensure that you can accept that invitation? You just know that it is vitally important for you to accept that invitation: it will improve the quality of your life. Here is one such invitation:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
Labor in this verse refers to a most wearisome type of work that is exhausting and never ending. I believe many of us feel like this on a regular basis. Weary from the day to day activity of life: doing business in SA; work issues that mount on top of what we are already trying to sort out; health issues that are taking long to recover from, new problems when we already have a to-do list, parenting during those challenge years, ministry when we are already very busy, marital strain while we are both tired, financial shortage when there never seems to be enough etc. This is when we feel tired.
We are “heavy laden,” which in the original Greek (ref: Rick Renner “Sparkling Gems of the Greek”) refers to the weight that a soldier would carry in his backpack on a journey. It was considered normal and what was expected for a soldier to carry and the weight was dependent on the length of the journey he was undertaking. Some of us are carrying normal, to be expected burdens that come with our day to day activities and lives. They are our life assignments and some of these burdens just never go away. We are the people, the soldiers, who have been doing our job carrying that burden for a long time and the job isn’t done yet. There is still a road ahead.
We are weary and heavy laden. It is to us, we who are carrying our normal burdens that Jesus says to: “Come to me…I will give you rest.”
Rest: to calm, relax, refresh, take a breather, have some time away from responsibility.
It is important to note that Jesus does not say that he will take the difficult assignment away; He offers rest (refreshing) so as to continue the journey.
A yoke was used to combine two animals together for the purpose of doing some form of work. This partnership meant that their combined strength enabled them to pull a load that neither would be able to pull on their own. Animals that were yoked together were in-separable in their partnership.
Jesus offers to yoke with us, but we have to take a deliberate action to “take” on His yoke. This is His offer to the exhausted, tired worker:
- To come for refreshment and then
- Make a deliberate decision to enter into a working relationship with Him.
In this partnership relationship, He promises that the work experience will be “easy” and “light”. From this partnership will come refreshment, strength and enablement. It includes instruction and guidance and then we will find that doing the same work will now be a pleasurable experience.
Some of us are feeling tired, we have been on the road long and the exhaustion has crept into our very bones. Jesus says to “come to Him.” When last did you “come” and spend time in His presence just being refreshed?
Once we are refreshed, we need to make a deliberate decision to once again partner with the Lord, who, as our yoke partner, is the God of the Impossible, the All-powerful One who Reigns over all the earth. Not a bad yoking partner, if you ask me?
Father, I come to you with my weary soul. Refresh my spirit Lord with your Word, your presence and your Holy Spirit. Fill me with your confidence, your strength, your enablement. Help me to partner in life with you because You play a role in my life, my attitude, my environment, my work and everything that is connected with me. You make it better, easier, lighter and more enjoyable. You make my life assignment, a delight.
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