Have you ever struggled with Matthew 11:28-30?
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
We generally love verse 28 (come and find rest) and even verse 29 is ok, since it ends in finding rest. But then we come to verse 30. His burden easy? His burden light? Hmmm??? How can this be since we definitely feel like we struggle and don’t always feel light? What is Jesus saying? It seems like Jesus is inviting us in these verses, offering a gift. What if He offers this gift BECAUSE of our struggles here on earth? He didn’t say, “just stick it out, because in heaven you will find rest”(although we know the ultimate rest is there). It’s about our inward (soul) life here. So that left me with wondering what His burden is, the one we’re supposed to take. One thing we know about yokes is that it is fitted to the animal. It makes a hard task easier. Think about how much harder the work would be without a yoke at all?. It simplifies everything. We know that Jesus continually calls us trust, a life of faith. Isn’t that where the battle rages during unwanted circumstances? Will God really catch me in this fall? What if it hurts? What if I’m not always comfortable? (As if on our own we could command these things away anyway). This seems to be our struggle. It’s a struggle of SURRENDER-to think we’re not in control-to rely on someone else, to be vulnerable… but once we surrender, the yoke is easy because the decisions aren’t ours and He knows exactly what we can take. We’re just to listen and respond. His burden always includes love, while this worlds burden is hate. His burden includes mercy, while this worlds burden is revenge. His burden includes joy and peace, while this worlds burden is sadness and strife. When you really take a look at the options-His burden really is light. It includes beautiful things in the midst of turmoil. It is a rest of the soul, the inward part of us, the part that really matters.