“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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.” - Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
6 or 7 years ago, I bought a weighted vest for my daughter Ellie and Abbie (SG was too young) and their travel basketball teammates to train with, practice in and run drills in. It’s a vest that can have as much as 20 pounds of weight in it and can help build core strength as you run and workout with it on.
For Ellie and Abbie’s purposes, we started with 10 pounds in the vest and added on to it from there.
Now, to the casual reader, ten pounds doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but if you are trying to run, jump and play with that extra 10 pounds on, it can weigh you down. And once she sheds the weighted vest, she feels lighter, faster, stronger, quicker.
It’s kind of like when I was kid and you could buy an 8 pack carton of 16 ounce Cokes in glass bottles (the kind you could redeem). If you carried those cartons of Coke for any length of time, once you put them down... your arms would sort of rise. Lightened from their burden.
All too often, we carry around a weighted vest (and I’m not talking about those extra pounds we can and do carry in weight/fat). As we carry it, the burden tends to get/feel heavier and more restricting with every step, with every breath. Our weighted vest tends to be…
- the weight of sin in our lives
- excessive life demands (work, family, religion)
- in some places and parts of the world more than others - oppression and persecution
- weariness from trying to work and/or do good to try to please God (as if we could somehow earn His grace, mercy, favor).
But Jesus reminds us that He will give us rest. He reminds us to take on His yoke, for His fits perfectly and His burden is light. Far lighter than the yoke around us now. Far lighter than the burdens we carry now.
Jesus frees us from these heavy burdens we carry. He gives us rest found in His love, His healing, His grace, the hope and the peace we find in Him. We will still struggle and labor (no one said a Christian life would be easy), but a relationship with Jesus changes everything. No longer do we work and labor in vain. The meaningless and the burdensome ultimately changes into spiritual productivity and purpose. It becomes more and more about Him and His glory and less and less about us and our burdens, worries, junk of life.
Today, take up your cross and follow Jesus. Give Him your weighted vest filled with life’s burdens. Take on His yoke. And you will find rest.
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem.