Wednesday Word 9.19.2018

Matthew 11:28-30 New International Version
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

How many dozens of times have I heard this and never understood how a yoke could be light to someone who was already worn out? How can taking on a new burden be restful? Especially the yoke of a Christ follower?

I am sorry if this sounds irreverent, but for the last twenty years I have said, “This Jesus stuff is hard!” Trying to respond to the world as Jesus might have me do is not always easy. I can read the words of the Bible and many times I know I am glossing over them. I can memorize the stories and admire the people in them. In my heart of hearts, I can hope to emulate their faithfulness. But, come on, it is hard. Some of it…like this passage…sounds good on the surface until you start to think about it. What in the world did Jesus mean? How can he think it is easy?

It hit me this morning. For twenty years, I have been moaning about how hard it is to let go. It is so hard to “give up” my own thoughts and perspectives. It is so hard to give up some of the indulgences that I have grown to enjoy. It is hard to put time and energy and resources out there. That is the whole problem! I am the problem! It isn’t that Jesus is wearing me out, I am taking care of that all on my own. I guess I have known it all along. You cannot accept the yoke of Jesus when you are still clinging fiercely to your own will. Of course you are weary when you insist on trying to get the universe to see things your way. That is what he means. If we come to him, really learn from him, then we will realize that all the heavy baggage we drag along with us can fall away. We can begin to really learn what he means when he says his burden is light.

I am not suggesting that this task will be complete any time soon. My guess is that it will probably take the rest of my days to work on truly surrendering my will and leaving the rest to God. That is where it belongs. I am not equipped for the job…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki

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