The Burden Bearer – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Life can be a huge burden. We often refer to it as a “rat race”, an ever-busy condition that never really acomplises anything of significance. We may feel caught in a meaningless activity that helps us survive for the moment but does not lift us to any higher meaning. For that, mankind looks to religion. Religion, too, can be a huge burden. It places demands on us that are clearly higher than our ability to accomplish. It places ideals before us that our earthbound souls long to embrace but can’t ever really reach. It keeps us striving, in the strength of our flesh, to attain to the depths and the promises of the spiritual realm. This is why Jesus came promising the provision of the Father for all our needs and the gift of the Spirit to give us direction and the ability to accomplish God’s will.
This is why the One who demands that we take up our cross and follow Him. He says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Our source of existence and the Light of the world never told us to get wrapped up in our anxieties, to eke out existence, or strive in the strength of the flesh. He only told us to come to Him with everything, and He would fill us with Himself. What He has demanded of us, He Himself will fulfill.
We get up in the folly of self-effort. We think our provision is up to us, so we struggle. We think our righteousness is up to us, so we strain. We think our spirituality is a work of human willpower, so we press on even harder. All the while, Jesus says to us: “Come to ME.” He will give us rest.
Faith and complete dependence on Jesus are to precede obedience. When we strive for obedience first, we are overwhelmed with our inabilities. Remember that the frail body with which you try to bear your burdens is filled with the incarnate God. Take His yoke and let Him lead.
“Quit sweating, quit wrestling. It is not to try but trust.”
John G. Lake