Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (28-30)
These are among Jesus’ most famous words. And they contrast sharply with his rebuke of the experts of the law.
Then he said: “Woe also to you experts in the law! You load people with burdens that are hard to carry, and yet you yourselves don’t touch these burdens with one of your fingers. (Luke 11:46)
I suppose the question to ask ourselves is this: as we live this Christian life, are we feeling exhausted? Burdened?
Often times we suffer exhaustion because of the burdens of expectations.
The expectations people have of you.
Your own expectations of yourself.
The expectations (you think) God has of you.
And as we face these expectations, they all say the same thing, “You’re not good enough.”
We feel that from those around us.
We feel that about ourselves.
And worst of all, we think God is saying that of us as well.
But that is not a life of rest.
And so Jesus says, “Come to me. Don’t run from me. I don’t condemn you for your sins and failures. I died for those things. My Father already accepts you as his son, as his daughter. You don’t have to prove your worth to him. Rest in my grace. Rest in my love.”
Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you. Don’t take the yoke of expectations that others put on you. That yoke is heavy. And most times, you won’t be able to bear it. To them, you are never good enough. Instead take on my yoke. It is a yoke that is full of grace, not condemnation. More, it is a yoke that you don’t carry alone. I am there right beside you, carrying it with you. So even if you stumble, its weight will not crush you.”
And he says, “Learn from me. You might be a slow learner, but that’s okay. I’m a gentle and patient teacher. I won’t give up on you like others might. Learn how I think. Learn how I do things. And just keep taking the next step forward. I’m in no hurry. Don’t worry if others are moving faster than you are. We have time. We have eternity.”
That’s a life of rest.
How about you? Are you completely burdened and exhausted by the Christian life? Or are you living a life of rest?