In His Word 5-3-10

"Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." This portion of a verse is quoted over and over by Christians. Today we are going to take a closer look into it. We are going to read the rest of the scripture on it.

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:27-29 (KJV)
"My Father has given all things to me. The Father is the only one who knows the Son. And the only ones who know the Father are the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to make him known. "Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. Serving me is easy, and my load is light." Matthew 11:27-29 (NIRV)
What kind of rest are we talking about here? I thought of this question the other day while I was reading and praying. He did not say, "I will let you sit and put your feet up and be lazy." We often think of resting as kicking back with a nice cold iced tea and relaxing, or curling up with a good book. Do we really think that’s what God will do for us? WIll He tell us to skip that heavy load and kick off our shoes?

I don’t think that is what He was talking about. When we are resting in Him it is not always a physical rest. Looking at the scripture, He says to us that we are to take His yoke upon us. Yokes are for use on an animal of burden to make the load easier to pull. It has a circular shape at the top, then usually a couple of horns to attach things to. It is placed over the neck of a beast of burden to assure that the load is evenly pulled on all sides, thus keeping the animal from having to put forth too much effort. Once a yoke is put upon the animal, the load is evened out around his body. The owner or task master will place a yoke upon the animal and lead it through the task. We have seen these used in movies about the old west when the oxen pull the plow or the covered wagon.

So what does this have to do with us? Jesus said to take His yoke upon us. This means we are to submit to His will in our lives. If an ox just got to roam around it would walk back and forth on the plowed field and ruin it for planting. In one movie I saw, the person leading the ox had a heart attack and fell. The oxen tried to keep going and eventually dragged the man a few steps before he stopped. Without the leadership of the farmer the animal did not know where to go. Without the leadership of God we will wander aimlessly through life without purpose.

If we are the oxen, what did He place us here to do? Are we going to bring people to a new land, helping them start over in life like the beasts that pulled the wagons to new lands? Or are we going to be the ones who plow the fields and make way for seeds to be planted? He said His burden is light and will bring rest to our souls. Wwhatever it is He has for you to pull, it will be light to your soul.

My soul will be rested if I am doing what God wants me to do with my life. If I am constantly complaining and grumbling how will I find rest? I won’t. I will grow weary instead. So what does this tell us about how we are to look at our burdens?

Should we always look at burdens as something we can't wait to have removed? Would we be unlatched and sent to roam for a while in an open field to feed ourselves. Even when the farmer put the oxen to pasture, he always knew they would be ready when he needed them again. Are you ready when God needs you or do you get distracted with the cares of life?
We will never find rest for our souls until we take His yoke upon us. We must find the way to submit to His will in our lives. Until then we will struggle to figure out what we are to do.

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to find rest for our souls. Help us today to walk in Your will, being tuned in and available to you. Rig us up with your yoke and lead us to our purpose. In Jesus' name, amen.

Suggested Readings: Matthew 11:1-30; Philippians 4:1-23; 1 Timothy 6:1-21; 2 Corinthians 7:1-16; Hebrews 4:1-16.