11 Jun 2015

All You Who are Weary and Burdened

If you were to take a poll of people around you almost everyone would agree that we lead very busy lives. Some by choice, others due to circumstances seemingly beyond their control.  I’ve even noticed that when you ask someone how they’re doing, it is very common to hear how busy they are as opposed to how they actually feel.   I cannot help but question the fact are we really that busy or is this word grossly overworked. The answer to that question is different for each individual but what we do about it is the bigger concern.

The bible addresses the issue in St. Matthew 11: 28 – 30.   “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”.  I have reviewed these verses in several different versions of the Bible and I am getting the same conclusion in each.  Jesus is instructing us to come to Him with all our cares, burdens, and issues.  These are all things that are a part of life, but Jesus doesn’t want us to carry them or deal with them alone.  Instead He wants us to yoke ourselves to Him with only the burdens associated with Him and He will make them light and easy.  Confusing?  Let me clarify it for you!

We were never promised a perfect life or a “bed of roses” free from thorns.  Even the most beautiful roses have stems with thorns.  So in essence you have to take the good with the bad if you want to enjoy the beauty of the rose!  When we are yoked to something we are bound and attached to it.  The word “yoke” is not often heard these days, but when we think of it we normally think of oxen or other animals that are yoked for the purpose of being driven and forced into labor.  Although Jesus expects us to live a life of obedience to Him through His word, He also wants to show us how a life that is yoked to Him willingly will ease our burdens and give us the rest we so desperately need from the thorns of life.

In verse 29 of St. Matthew 11, Jesus wants us to learn from Him which therefore will instruct us of the life He so desires for us because He is gentle and humble at heart.  When we do this it will in turn make our lives easier, granting us peace and rest from our weariness.  The busyness of life is not always avoidable but we have a comfort and assurance in knowing that the One we are yoked to is well able to not only bear our burdens, but He will escort us through them, and make them easier by providing a plan for our rest.  Instead of letting life get the best of us try another plan of action:

  1. Approach each day and each situation you are faced with by asking God (pray) first to grant you the wisdom to only take on those things that He wants for you.  All other things ask Him to allow you to dismiss them and move on.  Many times we become too busy and overextend ourselves because we lack the boldness to just say “NO”.  If “NO” is too harsh for you to say, then its okay to soften it by saying “I’m unable to do that at this time”.  It’s not so much what you say, it’s the end result that counts!
  2. Take regular inventory of your life and responsibilities.  If you’re doing too much or involved in too much seek the Lord as to what you should delegate to someone else or release altogether.
  3. In the midst of your busy life and especially in difficult seasons know that this too shall pass and while you’re waiting on it to pass rest in the fact that you are not alone.
  4. Sometimes even after taking an assessment of your life, you come to the realization that it is not possible for you to release any of your current responsibilities.  In that case then you approach the Lord daily (and all throughout the day) for His divine guidance to accomplish what has been placed in your charge.   Additionally ask Him how to effectively balance those responsibilities and still manage to get the rest you need in every aspect of your life.

When we’re tired and overworked it is impossible to function to the best of our ability.  No one knows better than your Father how much you can handle and how much rest is required to successfully manage your life.  Sometimes it requires us to return to the things of life that may be quieter, slower, and simpler and watch it work for our good all around!

“This is what the Lord says:
Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls. . . .”
Jeremiah 6: 16 (NIV)