Are there days when you feel you can’t keep your eyes open? Maybe you are waking with a newborn or a sick child every few hours throughout the night, or maybe it is that you are restless and sleep deprived with worry, concern, or even fear. Either way, do you have days or weeks or seasons when you are just WEARY and drained? It may be affecting your joy, your parenting, your marriage…
It’s hard to put your finger on it. You can’t always understand what’s IN you that needs to be entrusted to Jesus, and you may not always know WHY God is allowing you to go through the season in which you find yourself.
Maybe all you know is that you’re tired.
If you are in that season right now then this brief word is for you (and for me), from the mouth of Jesus. From Matthew 11:28-30 (AMP)…
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
Jesus was precise and intentional with the words and description He chose to use as He addressed weariness in Matthew 11. Jesus had just been dealing with the leaders and religious people who rejected Him and HERE in these verses He turns TOWARD the people who will receive Him, and He offers an invitation. This invitation is for His friends – for US – to take His yoke, His light and easy and wholesome yoke, upon us, to help bear our burden and make it lighter.
What does it mean to take His yoke? One writer, David Guzik describes it like this: “When training a new animal (such as an ox) to plow, ancient farmers would often yoke it to an older, stronger, more experienced animal who would bear the burden and guide the young animal through his learning.”
I don’t know about you, but there are many days where I feel like I’m walking around with quite a heavy yoke on my shoulders. It may stem from my family stresses, my kids, just plain worrying about anything and everything, my marriage, or my ministry. I love to try and picture Jesus coming alongside me and removing that heavy-as-steel yoke, and replacing it with HIS soft, gentle, gracious yoke.
But I guess that means I need to accept His invitation to COME.
How do I – how do we – do that? We need to make space and allow ourselves to STOP MOVING long enough to sit with Him and His word.
And we need to pray. A lot. Because when we do, we are telling God that His voice and His Word and His direction matter most.
Paul Miller, in his book A Praying Life, writes: “We have an allergic reaction to dependency, but this is the state of the heart most necessary for a praying life. A needy heart is a praying heart. Dependency is the heartbeat of prayer.”
So as you and I read and reflect on that passage, I think some questions we need to ask ourselves and take before our Father, are these:
- What do I need from Jesus right now?
- What do I need to ask Him to come alongside and carry with me?
- What is the Holy Spirit trying to do in me that I’m resisting?
- What am I trying to do on my own that I shouldn’t be?
I love how David, in the Psalms, cries out for His Father to carry his burden with him. He does that while hiding in caves and literally running from enemies who want to take his life.
I haven’t quite found myself in either of those predicaments lately, but I sure can relate to some of his heart cries.
And I love in Psalm 31:8 when David says to His Father, “…you have set my feet in a spacious place.”
Our Father always wants to see us through, to carry our burden, and to come alongside. Trust in that with me today!