Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I was having trouble getting burnt out, with both working, and doing Bible research, and writing articles such as this. And when I got burnt out, my productivity at work would suffer. Coming home tired, I wouldn’t do Bible studies and research, but would turn to the TV and the computer. This would just make me more tired, and would go to bed without much Bible intake at all. Occasionally, I would get some time off for a holiday, and use it to pray and reflect. I would then be re-energized to do research and website work. I would build a to-do list of stuff to do for the Lord, for others, and for myself. I would then launch into this list quickly, and start the cycle of burnout again. Well, this past Memorial Day weekend (2015), I had a chance to reflect, and saw the cycle about to restart. I decided that I’d had enough. I wanted to be able to do the Lord’s will, and to be a good employee, without getting exhausted and suffering burnout. So, that Saturday night I prayed for help. The Lord gave me Matt 11:28-30:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I had heard this passage often before. It sounds nice; it reads nice. But I had never thought about actually putting it into practice. Here, Jesus offers rest to those of us who labor and carry burdens. He offers to trade: He will carry our heavy burdens, and we will carry His light burden. He will take our hard yoke, and give us His easy one. He will carry our loads, and He will give us the strength to get everything done. He will give us the energy to serve Him and be productive on the job. However, we must be willing to take on His load. If we don’t take on His yoke, how can we expect him to take on ours?
How do we take on His load? First, we must come unto Him. This means get away from everything that separates us from Him. When you are exhausted after a long day of work, what do you turn to? The TV? The computer? Food? Other people? These things can separate us from the Lord. Even good things, like friends and family can separate us from the Lord if we let them. To take on His load, we must come to Him daily, and put aside everything that would distract us from Him. Come unto the Lord when you need help. He is our strength. When we run into a problem that we can’t solve, where do we go? When I’m at work, and can’t figure out why something isn’t working, if I go to the Lord in prayer about it, often I find the problem within five minutes. That is, if I go to the Lord in prayer. Obviously, there are times when I need to ask someone else, or search for it on the internet. However, choosing to sit there and get mad and frustrated does not help anyone. And I’m speaking to myself here. We must come to Him, and bring all our worries, cares, and burdens.
We must also learn of Him. Learn of Him by reading His Word, the Bible. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15. The more of the Bible you read and study, you will focus on the Lord and the things of the Lord. You will become less interested in the things of this world. Learn of Him by listening to Biblical preaching and teaching. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom 10:17. Learn of Him through God-honoring music. “[T]eaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” Col 3:16. We can learn many things about the Lord through the spiritual insights of others.
Learn of Him by following His example. He is “meek and lowly in heart.” Choosing to be mad and upset does not help things; it only makes things worse. It does not bring peace and rest but more turmoil. Except for some righteous indignation at the hypocritical religious leaders, we don’t see Jesus getting mad or upset. He laid down His life for the world. We need to follow His example. The more we learn about the Lord, the more we abide in His Word, the more we will draw closer to Him.
Thirdly, to take up the Lord’s burden, we must first give Him our burdens. We cannot take on His load until we entrust Him with ours. We must cast all our cares and burdens upon Him. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Pet 5:7.
6. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We give Him our burdens and cares through prayer. When He gives us His burden, He gives us His peace along with it. His peace is indescribable. It surpasses any human understanding. It surpasses any peace that can be felt naturally. When you have the Lord’s peace, there is no doubt that it came from Him. When you give the Lord your burdens, you must trust in Him. Don’t come back and pick them back up. Leave them at His feet. Let Him worry about your worries. Let Him care about your cares. Let Him bear your burdens. He will give you the strength.
To take on the Lord’s load, we must come to Him, pray to Him, learn of Him, and trust in Him. What does this describe?
This describes our personal walk with God. More importantly, it describes what our personal walk with God should include. Our quiet times should be a delight, not a chore. We need to have the right attitude: we don’t have to spend time with the Lord; we get to spend time with Him. When we take on His load, we are able to serve Him better.
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10
11. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:11-13
Through the grace of God, the Apostle Paul was able to labor abundantly, because the Lord had strengthened him and had taken his load.
The Lord is our strength; why do we try to do things in our own power? The Lord will bear our burdens; why do we try to bear them ourselves? The Lord will answer our prayers; then why do we keep worrying about things? The Lord will bear our yoke; then why do we keep bearing it ourselves, and getting worn out?
The Christian life is not meant to be comfortable. The Christian life is not easy. We need to trust in Christ, and He will give us the strength to do what we need to do. Ask Him for strength. Ask Him to bear our load. Bear His load, for it is light. He will then give us strength, and bear our burdens for us.