March 21, 2017

Read Matthew 11

How many times have you called your child into your arms for comfort when he skinned a knee, got a poor grade because he failed to study, or was hurt by the careless words of a friend? You loved him first, then tenderly walked through the problem with him, sometimes helping him see that different choices might be less painful next time. So many things in life can wound us. Some of them we bring on ourselves, and some of them are an unavoidable product of living in a chaotic, self-focused world.

In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus calls us, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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." Jesus invites us to run into His arms, to trust Him, to be assured that He is able to take care of our dilemma, relieve our burden, or soothe our pain just as a loving parent would do. He will never turn us away, for "what father gives his child a stone when he asks for a loaf?" ( Matthew 7:9) He welcomes us, no begs us, messy and imperfect, to turn to Him.

He identifies us as those who are "weary and heavy laden". He knows us, doesn't He? We're stressed out and exhausted much of the time. Our jobs, relationships, family needs, impending decisions, even our service weigh us down more often that we'd admit. He knows our great need of His strength and His perspective. He must hate seeing us flounder when we carry our trials by ourselves and put up that "I've got it together" front.

His clear promise is rest, not just physical rest, but soul rest. When we are yoked with Him, the weight of our burdens shifts. The load is shared, and though our situation may continue, we are changed as He walks along beside us.