Sweat dripped down my forehead and fell to the floor. I used all of my energy to lift the weight set before me. It was heavy, and I felt so weak and simply wanted to give up. But the instructor was right there, cheering me on and telling me that I could do it. I could push harder. And through lifting that weight I could be stronger. Her words gave me the strength and encouragement I needed to keep going. And afterwards, I was so grateful and more capable of facing the day ahead of me.
Our days can be exhausting. Wearying with hard work, and filled with burdens. There have been days that I’ve felt the heaviness of my to-do lists bear down on me so much that I felt I couldn’t keep going. Drops of sweat fall from my brow each day as I keep on keeping on and feel as if I am getting no where. The chances are, you’ve felt the same way. Heavy-laden. Weak. About to crash.
The burdens of life were never meant to weigh us down, but rather to make us stronger. You would think I was crazy if I were to carry around a backpack of weights each day. Why? Because that would be misunderstanding the purpose of a weight. Weights weren’t meant to be carried on the back, but to be lifted and make us stronger. As we lift, we work, we do all that we can to keep going, the Lord is right there saying “Keep going, my child.” Those gentle whispers are enough to keep us going. We often don’t need more physical strength, but we need words of hope to keep us going.
And that is where Matthew 11:28-30 finds us.
“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.”
Jesus is speaking and He bids us to “come.” The two requirements to those who come is that they be weary, ones who labor, and ones who are heavy laden. Raising my hand here, and I bet you are as well. Jesus called the weary ones to come to Him and to find rest for our souls. He not only promises rest, but also calls us to take his yoke upon our backs. The yoke refers to a crossbar that would go over the shoulders of two oxen. It would spread the weight out and make the load bearable for the oxen to carry.
Jesus never promised us we would never experience turmoil. He didn’t promise us we would never grow weary or tired. He didn’t promise us a carefree life. He promised us rest. He promised us hope. He promised us joy in the midst of suffering.
Those burdens and weights you’ve been carrying on your back weren’t meant to weight you down, but to make you stronger in Christ. Psalm 55:22 tells us “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” You may have never realized this, but you are the one Jesus beckoned to come. In your weariness, you will taste His strength and His rest. Lay your burdens down at His feet today, sister, and rest in the love of Jesus. And those burdens that you can’t lay down? Pray that God would use them to make you stronger in His name for the glory of God and praise of Jesus!
Don’t waste your burdens. May they be an opportunity to surrender and praise the Lord.