Have you ever had a passage of scripture that kept coming up reminding you that you're still struggling with the same problem? That has happened to me recently with a passage from Matthew. Maybe the Lord is teaching me this lesson a layer at a time. Maybe I'm just stubborn and need to be reminded over and over. This time I'm digging deep into this passage and asking God to use it to change me, to make me more like Him. In verses 28-30 of Chapter 11 Jesus says, "Come to Me all you who labor and are 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Here's what the Lord has been showing me I need to learn from this passage. Recently I had the opportunity to do something that would be unique and really fun. I was excited at the chance and told my family that I was going to think of it as my own mini vacation. I thought about the time away with no real responsibilities, no appointments, no children, no cleaning, no one waiting for me to do something for them. Then I found out that I had signed up too late and wouldn't be able to participate. I was very disappointed. As I struggled through the day with handing my disappointment over to the Lord, this passage came back to me. I realized that what I was looking for was an escape from my day. The problem is that when this activity ended, my busy life would be waiting for me. The Lord showed me that what I need isn't an escape, but to find rest. Not that doing fun things or having time away by myself is wrong, but when I'm looking to things instead of God for my rest, my priorities are wrong. This is what He showed me as I dug into this passage.
"Come to Me" is an invitation. The choice is mine to accept or decline. Jesus does not force Himself on me. I can choose to continue in my chaos, or I can come to Him. The words used to describe me working on my own are "labor" and "heavy laden". The word Jesus uses to describe His work are "easy" and "light".
"Take My yoke". There will always be work that needs to be done. We were never promised a life that was free from work or trouble. Jesus said He was always about His Father's business. He doesn't just call us to work, but He calls us to learn from Him. How many times have I said to my children, "You can keep struggling to figure that out, or I can show you the way." As I sit and watch them determined to prove to me that they know the best way and don't need my help, I wonder how long will they keep doing this. How long will they continue to struggle when, with just a little help, it could be over? I feel like that's what Jesus is saying to me. I can keep struggling, trying to figure out how to do the work He has called me to do, or I can come to Him, learn from Him. I can learn from Him because He is gentle and lowly in heart. When I come to Him and learn from Him, that's when I find rest for my soul. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. There is freedom in the rest and peace that Jesus offers. Freedom to lay down my burden. Freedom to admit that I don't have all the answers. Freedom to be who He is calling me to be.