Scripture Reading: Genesis 29:1-30:43 / Matthew 11:16-30 / Psalm 9:7-12
Rest areas are found on the highways of the United States and provide a safe, effective and convenient place for travelers to stop and relax. Just in Texas alone, more than 50 million travelers stop at Texas rest areas annually. Fatigue is a major cause of serious highway accidents as police report approximately 100,000 accidents are a result of driver fatigue.
It can be safely said that life is more demanding than it ever has been before with taxing jobs, accelerated schedules and busy families. We look forward to a “day off” or “down time”. We are also challenged with relational struggles, emotional stressors and financial setbacks. Life is a constant tornado of never ending activity. Sometimes, Christians are some of the most worn out people on the planet but Jesus has an answer for our tornado lives…stop!
“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.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Jesus invites the anxious, tired and distracted to come to Him for rest.
Our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual frailty is quickly revealed as we get caught up in the toil of life. At times we attempt to cover up our weakness by digging deeper and pushing harder. We wait until the last possible moment to see a doctor and then are selective on what we share. The first step to divine rest is coming to Christ with absolute transparency, honesty and realness.
Jesus tells us to take His yoke, but a yoke is a symbol of work, labor, strain and burden. That doesn’t sound very appealing or “restful” but we can either toil by ourselves or take Christ’s yoke. It is His yoke; He lines it with love; He takes our toil; He bears the greater load and He makes it easy! The yoke is a blessing to the beast of burden and Jesus furnishes what is needed to make our lives gracious, sweet and pleasant… His burden is light!
When we truly learn of Him, we discover He is gracious, merciful and forgiving. He longs to comfort, embrace and strengthen our lives. We learn He is a God of love, has a divine plan and a wonderful purpose for our lives. His “commands are not burdensome” (1 Jn 5:3) but bring supernatural peace, joy, hope and fulfillment. God is not impatient with us but is longsuffering, meek, gentle and forbearing.
Much time and care were spent in making yokes. Carpenters would measure each ox and carefully carve out a customized yoke specifically for the oxen. The oxen would go through a final fitting in order to create a perfectly fit yoke that would not chafe or harm the oxen. Christ knows our toil, suffering and weariness. He has a perfectly prepared yoke for us that is easy and light. His invitation…”Come to me.”