I’ve been considering the reason for weariness in our lives; the reason so many of us are tired, exhausted of fighting. Turns out there are three potential sources for the disease of feeling burdened.
The first reason you might feel that way is that you’re working to earn your worth.]
Read this verse:
Come to me, all 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. (Matthew 11:28-29, ESV)
There it is: another reason we feel exhausted.
#2 We’re wearing the wrong yoke
True freedom is not about simply being delivered from our sin. The freedom we crave is to be free from sin so that we can be enslaved to another: God.
Jesus offers us rest – not by simply removing the yoke of our old slavery, but by calling us to put on a new yoke: spending ourselves for His kingdom.
We used to spend our lives pulling for our selfish ambitions and worldly desires. Now He has delivered us from that so that we can spend our lives pulling for His kingdom’s cause.
Maybe work, kids, ministry, life – all these blessings – feel like burdens because we’re wearing the wrong yoke; pulling for the wrong master.
If we are spending ourselves for our goals, then anything that sabotages those goals will become a burden.
For example, If your goal is financial security, then your spouse asking you to stay home with the kids will be a huge burden. You’re trying to pull your
life toward a goal, and this stands as an obstacle, making it harder to fulfill that goal.
If your goal is to have a life of comfort, then your kids will feel like a burden. All they seem to do is get in the way of your comfort; make your yoke harder to carry.
Maybe my job feels stressful because it’s getting in the way of my goal of relaxing. Maybe the reason my relationships feel like a burden is because they are taking a tole on my alone time.
Maybe that’s how we end up living for vacations, date nights or weekends.
Consider how things shift if we take up the yoke of Christ: His goals and ambitions.
All these things that have been obstacles become opportunities; burdens become blessings.
My job is a means to pursue God’s mission. Being home with your kids provides an opportunity to fulfill His ambition: disciple making.
Rest is found in pulling for His kingdom, wearing the right yoke. Not in avoiding the things that keep us from our selfish ambitions and worldly desires.
The rest of heaven is not the rest of sleep; they serve him day and night in his temple. They are always resting, and yet, in another sense, they rest not day nor night. Holy activity in heaven is perfect rest. True rest to the mind of the child of God is rest on the wing, rest in motion, rest in service, not rest with the yoke off, but with the yoke on. – Spurgeon
I think that the rest we seek is the rest of surrendering our lives to the cause of Christ. I think living with one foot in both worlds is exhausting. Fighting to cling to your own life, when you have been bought by Christ – is draining.
Christ doesn’t call us to take on his yoke, because He needs us or because He wants us to be miserable. He calls us to take on his yoke, because it’s the way to rest – being who we truly are: His ambassadors.