Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it the most wearisome time of the year?
I was talking to someone the other day about what they were sensing and this person mentioned “weariness.” Tiredness. Fatigue. Exhaustion. Sometimes we naturally get tired; but I sense for many right now it is beyond just being naturally tired from working hard; but an emotional/physical exhaustion of the soul due to the busyness and burdens of life, (and in some cases sin in our lives) to the point we have grown weary, had enough and just given up.
Therefore these words of Jesus are all the more essential, relevant and needed to be heeded than ever.
But here is part of the problem. I think many of us have heard the above verse so many times that I really think we fool ourselves into thinking we know it; when in reality we often do not live in the reality of it. I am examining my life as I write this in this regard.
Worse yet; many of us don’t think it really applies to us because we think this verse only has to do with “coming to Jesus for salvation” when actually it has much more to do with coming to Jesus to be His disciple; learning to live in constant fellowship with Him and living as a servant of His.
I want to ask you to take an honest look at your life as I do mine: How much of your “busyness” is by choice and actually a distraction from what is most essential? How many of your “burdens” are self-inflicted and not being “cast on the Lord?” Is there sin that is sapping of strength that we are not repenting of or overcoming?
Much of our “busyness” is because we have become distracted by things and caught up in things that we really did not seek the Lord on and that are non-essential and worse pulling us away from what is most-essential. Or perhaps some things are essential but we have placed greater priority on those things than fellowship with the Lord. In other words we “fit” time with Him and studies around other things, rather than making that the first thing.
Listen: the most important thing is not getting done all we “need” to get done, but sitting at His feet and being a disciple of His. Many are too weary to serve because we are failing to spend adequate time with Him. Let me ask you: are you spending personal time during the week in His Word? In prayer? In worship? Are you abiding in Him and continuing to learn from Him as you come under His yoke? If you are weary and burdened this is the answer to find rest for your soul: come to Jesus, take His yoke upon you and learn from Him.
But often we make excuses or we get angry if even questioned on these things. We have this sense of “urgency” about earthly things; but where is that sense of urgency about spiritual and eternal things?
Remember this from Luke 10:38-42? “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Are you choosing what is better? There may be work that does need done; but what is needed most is quieting your heart enough to hear what Jesus is saying and taking it to heart.
Please read and meditate on this verse because how my heart just longs for so many of us to take hold of this and recognize this is the very word we need to heed:
Isaiah 30:15: “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”
You know what’s sad about the context of that verse? It goes on to say about the people it was originally written to: “…but you would have none of it.” And it goes on to describe the defeat and fear they will experience as a result. My heart breaks over how true this is in regard to so many today. It doesn’t have to be if we just respond rightly to the Lord who as Isaiah 30:18 goes on to say, despite our stubbornness: “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”
Really examine your life and seek the Lord about applying these to your life. What are your true priorities? Are they the Lord’s and revolving around Him first of all? Or are you sacrificing time with the Lord to do other things you feel need to be done? What unnecessary busyness and burdens are in your life? What needs pruned in your life? What needs cut off or out of your life? What needs given over to the Lord and released to Him? What is holding you back and keeping you away spending time with Him, learning from Him as a disciple and serving Him? Are you truly coming to Him and trusting in Him? Is there sin (attitudes, actions) and worldly sorrow you need to repent of? Take time to spend with Him today and bring these questions before Him. Let His Spirit minister to you as you seek Him.
Isaiah 40:27-31 “Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”