28 ¶ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I love the promise in Matthew 11:28 that if we come unto Jesus and give Him our burdens, He promises us rest. That is true. Jesus keeps His promises. I feel I may need to add an asterisk here… in His time, in His way. Some of our burdens drive us to our knees early and often. We beg for the Lord to take our burdens or the burdens of others, to change circumstances and right NOW if He could.
At that moment, and the thousands of painful moments that follow, we learn. We learn “my thoughts are not your thoughts”. We learn “Thy will be done”. We learn that all powerful and all loving doesn’t mean Jesus will do what we want.
Sometimes we have to get up off of our knees and discover that Mathew 11:29 is in effect and we now have the Lord’s yoke which may feel and look suspiciously like the yoke we had when we knelt down.
I know Jesus will completely take all of our burdens…eventually. I have found that frequently faith and peace are found in recognizing His grace and wisdom and glory in the Jesus’ yoke.
Jesus’ yoke looks a lot like love. In some ways that is so hard. Forgiveness. Patience. Humility. But surprisingly as we begin that way and continue, we will find that although love is always VERY messy, it is joyful and peaceful and so abundant.
We may wake up overwhelmed with the relentless nature of love, but as we step into it and let it surround us, the beauty and grace found there are sustaining. No matter your physical state or mental state or financial situation…LOVE will be a part of Jesus’ yoke. There will be ways for you to serve.
Perhaps they will seem small at first. Maybe it’s a smile. Maybe it’s choosing not to vent every negative emotion onto those closest to you. Maybe it’s listening. Maybe it takes time you don’t think you have.
Since this is Jesus’ yoke…it’s not your time any more. It’s His. One of the surest ways to feel God’s love is to help someone else. If your situation isolates you completely, consider prayer as a form of service, and perhaps you can try to more fully love yourself.
Jesus’ yoke will likely not look how we’d like. Part of giving our burdens to Jesus is giving up our expectations. Don’t confuse this with giving up hopes and dreams. It’s just that our hopes may need to be shifted and rearranged to something far more beautiful.
When we are still clinging to our old expectations we bring upon ourselves the new burden of doubt. What if the all powerful creator of the universe isn’t strong enough, or wise enough to do things our way?
The truth is, we may have set our sights far lower than we should. It’s hard to carry anything when we are bent around backwards, looking in another direction. Trust that the God who created butterflies and waterfalls and the stars and all creation…knows best what YOU can become. I’m sure a manger didn’t look much like a baby bed to Mary or Joseph, but how sweet it is to us now.
Trust that even your least desirable and darkest circumstances are a part of what Christ is making in you. Perhaps you can never imagine them being beautiful…but what would stained glass windows be without the lead that so defines them?
Jesus promises His yoke will be light. Sometimes we don’t believe Him even though the weight we are feeling is our own yoke we are dragging behind us. Perhaps the heaviness of our yoke is constant comparing with others. Social media makes this so easy. We seldom see other’s yokes…merely the vistas they choose to share. Perhaps we are asked to do a very hard thing. IN fact PLAN on it.
You’ve read the scriptures…which people got off easy? Don’t confuse a very hard thing with an impossibly heavy burden. At the beginning the enormity of the task may overwhelm us if we forget one very important thing…this is NOT our yoke. This is the Lord’s. He will make it light. He will strengthen you. He will carry it for you. A whole year may not be doable. A whole day may be more than what you can do. But right now…in the moment, God’s grace can make it feel light.
The greatest weight of a burden can be loneliness. Life seems to be going on so normally for everyone else while we struggle. But we are never meant to carry a burden alone. When we take Jesus’ yoke upon us…we also get HIM.
He will be right beside us understanding everything we are feeling and experiencing. Search out just how thoroughly He understands you.
NOTHING is beyond His never ending compassion. He will walk at precisely your pace. And when you cannot walk, He will wait with you.
Jesus will keep his promises. He will take your burden and give you His yoke. He grace will be there before you give up your burden, to help you give it up and forever afterwards. Keep your hope, not in your burden disappearing, or in your circumstances changing. Keep your hope in Jesus.