"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."
This tender invitation from our Lord gives so much comfort! Who among us is not weary and feeling the burden of all the uncertainty in today's world? He offers an invitation to all of us; all who are burdened with sin, anxiety, depression, fear and doubt. That pretty much covers us all, don't you think?
A problem arises when man, or woman, refuses to face the fact that we are sinful creatures and need Divine help to be freed from these burdens. We think we can do it on our own, when in reality the ONLY way we can be relieved of our burdens is to put our faith in Jesus. And when we accept His sacrifice for us, what do we get? Sweet, blessed Rest....rest from the guilt of our sins, peace to calm our troubled hearts, joy to lift our spirits, love that casts out fear, and hope for facing the future.
That all sounds good .... almost too good to be true .... and there's got to be a catch, you say. Nothing is free; there is always an obligation due. What does Jesus expect from me? It's really very simple --- He asks you to accept his teachings, and he wants you to take on whatever duties he lays upon you; that is "the yoke".
Just how heavy will this "yoke" be, you might ask? All you need to do is listen to Him and learn from Him, which means we observe all that He commanded and we follow all that He taught; it's a call to discipleship; to believe, and to follow, and to be an advocate for Him.
The amazing thing is that when we accept this "yoke", it is not a burden at all! Jesus gives us the strength to do the work He asks of us. I tell you this from personal experience --- the burden He has asked me to assume is a whole lot lighter than the burden of the sin and fear and doubt that have been such a destroyer of my soul in the past.
I have always been a little bit jealous of those who knew Christ from their childhood. I took a longer route to the rest He offers. That doesn't mean that I still don't face moments of anxiety or doubt. The difference now is that I know I can lay those burdens down and take up the responsibilities that He has given me.... I can rely on the knowledge I have gained from getting to know Him through His Word; I can testify to others of the times He has delivered me from those fearful moments and the worry has slowly disappeared. It's hard to explain, but I have grown stronger with each passing year. Situations that would have paralyzed me when I was younger (whether financial, personal or health-wise) still occur and still have the power to frighten me. But when I go to Him with my concerns, I am able to function; I feel peace in the midst of the storm, and I am able to claim hope in that circumstance.
It's not only Jesus who invites you in this passage, but I invite you, too. Accept His summons and His "yoke". You will receive so much more than what you give up, I promise!