“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matt. 11:28)
Dear Lord Jesus, I’ve always loved this most gracious invitation (command). But in some stretches of life, I’m more desperate for it. My nice little LL Bean daypack morphs into a Mt. Everest Sherpa’s rucksack.
Sometimes I take on too much, and that’s “on me”—literally. Other times a convergence of circumstances, old wounds, people-needs, and unforeseen events demand more energy, mental focus, and emotional bandwidth than I have. Many of my friends are offering a hearty, “Amen,” as they identify with me. So, this prayer comes from all of us.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus, when we’re weary and overwhelmed, thanks for not starting with a lecture in time management. That might come later, but you always meet us with a gentle and humble heart—always. Thank you.
Here’s where faith and grace kiss. When we’re overburdened, you tell us to pick something else up—your “yoke” and “light burden.” I’ve never really noticed this before, but it makes total sense. To take up your “light burden,” we have to off-burden ourselves of things you never intended us to carry. “Casting our cares and anxieties on you, because you care for us” (1 Peter 5:7).
We can’t be anyone’s savior—our children’s or anyone else’s. That’s “on you”—literally. And we can’t let others keep loading us down with their baggage—the stuff they must learn to bring to you. You haven’t called any of us to be the bullseye for other people’s target practice, the pack mule for their anger, or the 3-wish-genie of their happiness.
Also, we must stop filling our “expandable-rucksacks” with old regrets and the burden of shame. It will cripple us. You’ve already born our guilt and shame. Why would we grab that stuff back?
If thoughts could be weighed—trying to carry double our body weight in worrisome contemplations, fearful ponderings, and 50-pound bags of “What if?”… I hardly need to finish the sentence.
So, Jesus, what is your “yoke” and “light burden”? It is the Gospel. To be “yoked” to you is to realize you fully carry us, not just our burdens. You are our righteousness, our hope, our peace—all the way Home. Hallelujah, and help our unbelief. In the coming hours, days, and weeks—bring us to fresh freedom. So Very Amen.