A couples group, of which my wife and I are members, had an interesting discussion about what it means when Jesus says in Matthew 11, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I have thought a lot about what this means this week and my purpose of this blog is to share my thoughts hoping it will help you to give it some thought. If you remember my blog post https://thankfulinallthings.com/musings-on-psalms-23/ , verse 2 says the Lord will make us lie down in green pastures. Upon further reflection this verse is not about the Lord, our Shepherd, forcing us to lie down. Instead it is about taking away every distraction or worry so that we can actually relax and rest. Psalm 23:1–3 tells us that the shepherd meets the sheeps’ every need: food, water, rest, safety, and direction. Without this being done, the sheep won’t lay down and rest. Aren’t there many times in our lives that we feel the same way? Good and challenging things coming at us from every direction? Just like the storms the disciples faced in their boat, Jesus promises to calm the wind and waves that cause us anxiety and stress. https://www.biblehub.com/luke/8-24.htm He challenges us to “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.”https://www.bible.com/bible/111/MAT.11.28-30.niv
I have thought a lot about this picture of us taking Jesus’ yoke upon us. Can you imagine getting strapped into this yoke without someone next you? I am guessing none of us would make much progress. It would be hard and we would probably walk around in circles. Isn’t that like life when we endeavor to do things on our own? https://vickiejblair.com/2018/01/24/the-purpose-of-the-yoke/ Asking for help not only makes it easier, more productive, but probably more enjoyable too. Jesus want us to lay our burdens down saying, when we do, we will find rest for our souls.
Another interesting thought about the Yoke is farmers will put a stronger more experienced farm animal with one that is not as strong. The stronger and more experienced one helps the weaker one get stronger. That is what Jesus is conveying to us. In our weakness, Christ will make us strong. 2nd Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus does His best work in us when we admit we can’t do things on our own and say “yes Lord, let me strap in with you so you can make my burdens light.” As we become stronger in our faith, we can harness ourselves to others who are not as strong so that they might learn from us.
Max Lucado writes, “The key is this: Meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow. You do not have tomorrow’s strength yet. You simply have enough for today. “You need someone in the other Yoke space to lift your spirits. You need someone to look you in the face and say, “This isn’t the end. Don’t give up. There is a better place than this. And I’ll lead you there.” Jesus is that person. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. John 14:6. You know you are heavy laden so accept His offer to come unto Him. Like the sheep, let Him take on all the distractions so you can get some much needed rest.
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