Recently I have detected a bit of weariness in my spirit. Not depression or even really discouragement, but just some stress and strains that make my soul feel “heavy.”
And so, I have spent some time dissecting Matthew 11:29-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble in heart. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Here are some things I have been learning.
First, the context for the passage suggests a contrast between the weight of trying to keep the Old Testament Law and the non-burdensome weight of the yoke of grace. (Some really good things to think about there…). Notice too that the discussion begins with a command, “Come to me!” Right away, I am forced to re-focus my attention on Christ and not everything else that is heavy.
He defines who should come: “all who are weary” (that word comes from a root that means “to cut or to have pain”) and all those who have been “burdened” (implies a burden that others have loaded on us).
He promises REST. Literally it means, “I will rest you, make you recover.” (Look at Jeremiah 6:16) And He does so by providing a different yoke. Apparently His yoke is not the kind that is used to harness two animals together. Rather it is the idea of a separate porter, someone else who will help carry the load.
One writer explained it like this: “Jesus didn’t say he will take our burdens away, but that He will give us the means of carrying them so that they are not too much for us.”
What a great thought to start the week after Easter. He has risen and because of His burden and substitutionary death, my burden is lighter. He is carrying the load with me. The weight is on His shoulders, not mine. That burden is now “easy.”
There are lots of reasons to embrace a season of “weariness.” It makes us receptive to that command to be still and wait on Him. It can be such a motivator for change. It can soften our souls and redirect our attention. And it often prepares us for the next season of life.
So this week, maybe you could join me as I work to change my focus. Instead of endlessly reviewing the weights and burdens of life, let’s all “hum” the mantra of Isaiah 40:29: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”