Friday, October 7, 2011

Rest for Your Souls

“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

Mom self-help books, well-meaning bookmarks , and greeting cards try to console the tired, weary mom.  It starts off good – Look to Christ to comfort you and give you peace.  Jesus knows how you feel – tell Him about it.  He can give you peace that passes all understanding. 

But sometimes I fear we get our messages crossed a little.  Bible verses like Matthew 11:28-30 can be misleading.  Life with Christ doesn’t mean an easy life.  It doesn’t mean we are sheltered from disaster.  It doesn’t mean we get punished when we aren’t good enough, but it doesn’t mean we are rewarded here on earth when we say the right thing either.  

It’s confusing in today’s culture, but it’s not feel-good.  It’s not about what we do.  It’s about Christ.  And what HE does.
I’m tired.  I’m falling asleep reading.  I need to go to bed soon. 
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I have a very comfortable bed in the other room and will be seeking it out soon.  I love love love sleeping.  I seek it when I am stressed out, and when I feel overwhelmed.  I want nothing more than to shut out the world by pulling the covers over my head.  Sometimes I just feel like I can‘t handle life. 
“all you who are weary and burdened…”
Yes, that's me.  I’m tired of the mistakes I make.  I’m tired of feeling like I’m not good enough.  I’m quite aware of my sin and my inability to follow the law.  I’m ready to put my trust in the freedom of Christ.
“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.”
‘Christ’s yoke’ = yielding to the gospel.  The gospel is that faith in Christ saves us from what we deserve.  The gospel is Love is the Answer.  The gospel is Hope and Forgiveness and Grace.  It’s God becoming Man to clean up our mess.  HE is the way out from under this weight.  HE is the answer.  Follow His direction.  Matthew Henry’s commentary points out that the ox carries the weight with the assistance of the yoke.  The load is still a big one, but the yoke helps.  It’s a tool.  Christ’s yoke is a tool we can’t afford to pass by.  We can’t carry this load alone.  Christ's yoke is the best way.  It's the only way. 
“..learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart”
Learn from me, as in let’s play school.  Everyday you come to me and seek knowledge.  Everyday you confess, take part of the message, and try to apply it to your life.  Everyday grow in the knowledge and try to imitate Jesus walk.  He is humble and gentle.  If you want to be like someone, be like Him.
“..For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Allow me to borrow from Matthew Henry’s commentary again.  He contends that “God’s presence (Isa. 43:2), Christ’s sympathy (Isa. 63:9; Dan. 3:25), and especially the Spirit’s aids and comforts (2 Cor. 1:5), make suffering for Christ light and easy.”  We have a big job as moms.  We have cared for our babies from the moment we even started dreaming about them.  We want to do everything we can for them.  We feel their pain, we cry over their disappointments, we ache to fix their problems.  We are confused about their perspective, frustrated by their decisions, rooting for their success.  There is a lot here to carry on our backs.  All that Jesus offers makes it easier to carry.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me… you will find rest for your souls.”

Lord, thank you for offering me rest.  Thank you for your presence, your guidance, your love and your salvation.  I can take comfort in You.  Continue to mold me and teach me so that I can be the Mom you want me to be.  Amen.

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