Matthew 11:28-30

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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30
Do you ever get so caught up in the race, you forget why you’re running in the first place? Are you chasing after a promotion, a position, a better paycheck, perfect grades? Maybe you’d just like to match every last sock once in a while, empty the dishwasher before it’s time to fill it, step outside of the cycle?
 
There are days my heart and mind race like a hamster in a wheel, all revved up and spinning and going nowhere. It doesn’t matter how early I wake, what words I write, how hard I work, I can’t shake the sense of incessant striving, the haunting fear that I will never do or be enough.
 
In this beautiful passage from Matthew, Jesus invites us to come to Him with our hard work and heavy burdens and find rest for our souls. He puts to rest our fears that we are not enough and offers Himself to us just as we are, without promotion, position, paycheck or impossible perfection. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
 
But there’s something unusual about this passage, about Jesus’ invitation. Jesus doesn’t offer a pillow when he invites us to rest; He offers a yoke, a wooden crosspiece fitted to a pair of oxen or other animals and attached to a plow or cart to work the land. There is still a yoke, still work to be done, but it is work that provides rest for the soul. And a properly fitted yoke helps oxen work to their full potential, to accomplish more without injury or harm.
 
When we answer Jesus’ call to come to Him, the impossible work of our salvation has already been accomplished on the cross. We do not have to strive to do more or to be more than we already are. Jesus carries the heavy burden of our sin to the cross and in place of our old yoke, Jesus offers a yoke that is easy and promises a burden that is light.
 
Understanding that the greatest work has been accomplished in Christ, we are free to serve and study with gratitude, to see in mismatched socks that we have been clothed, to see in dirty dishes that we have been fed, to live out our full potential as we ready the fields for harvest.
Rebecca Janni | Author