“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
It’s not that the Lord is telling us to happily assign ourselves to the “couch of potato” because what follows after this initial invitation belies that. We have to keep going. We can’t renounce the world and all the events and circumstances and people that seem so often to add brick and timber to our already heavy loads. But we need to learn not to assume responsibility for what is not ours.
What do I do about this? How am I going to get that done? Where does this need to go? When can I fit this in? How will I accomplish that? What will I do if…?
The burden we are asked to carry is often not the one we are presently trying to carry. He tells us “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” (vss. 29, 30).
His yoke. His burden. When we are asked to learn from Him we discover that Jesus managed to juggle a difficult schedule, get everything done, deal with all the unexpected events and the cranky and needy people. Yes, He got tired, but He was never anxious or rattled. And we ask why that might have been.
I suspect He took His own advice. I take this invitation in Matthew 11 as being a parallel to Matthew 6:33 where Jesus tells us to seek Him and what delights Him and He’ll carry all the rest of the responsibilities.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you are well.”
Look after the spiritual and He’ll look after all the rest. There will be enough time and energy to do what comes in the day IF we accept the “yoke,” the “burden” of seeking Him and what delights Him as the core of everything that we do and are.
It’s hard not to go into panic mode at times. The expectations we put on ourselves, and those imposed on us by others, threaten to overwhelm us. At those moments we need again the reminder that when we get our priorities straight, i.e. seeking Him and what delights Him, everything else that needs doing will be done.
He carries the burdens we are not supposed to bear.