Sometimes I think that if anyone ever read my journal, they might think I have schizophrenia.
I decided last January that I would read through the Gospels this year. I started in Matthew and when I finish with John, I start back over in Matthew. I’m not sure how many times I’ve read through them so far, but my goal was not to read them a certain number of times. My goal was to get to know Jesus more. It’s been an interesting little experiment, I’ll admit. One of the biggest challenges I faced was to pay attention to what I was reading because, let’s admit it, familiarity often leads to a lackadaisical attitude, and that was not what I was going for! I’ve discovered that if I journal my way through the text, I pay much more close attention. I also constantly pray and ask that God will open my ears to hear Him speak. I desire an ever increasing sensitivity to His Word. It IS alive. It IS active. And I DO want it to change me and challenge me. And that’s exactly what’s happening…
This week I read Matthew 11:28-30:
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.
How many times have I read that verse? Probably a gazillion. This time when I read it, I slowed down and really thought about it. Do I get it? I mean, really get it? Honestly? Nope. I really don’t think I do.
When I realized this, I went a bit schizophrenic in my journal:
Am I weary and burdened? YES! Am I weary and burdened with things that I shouldn’t be burdened with?
Aren’t I supposed to be burdened with the pain and need of others?
Isn’t being burdened what leads me to cry out to Jesus?
What does true rest really look like?
What exactly does the yoke of Jesus look like? How do I trade my yoke for His?
What is an easy yoke?!?
What is a light burden?!?
I desperately want rest for my soul. I desperately want to experience JOY and PEACE in the midst of crazy circumstances. I WANT to experience true rest. Whatever the yoke of Christ looks like….sign me up for that!
Sometimes I hear my own words that I have spoken to others echo back to me in my head, “No matter what the question it, Jesus is the answer.”
If you think I figured it all out and I’m about to tie it up in a nice bow for you, well, um, yeah…sorry to disappoint you. I’m a work in progress, peeps.
How about a little transparency? Here’s what I wrote to Jesus in my journal:
I don’t have the answers. I don’t know how not to be burdened. I don’t know what your yoke is. I DO know I want rest for my soul. I DO know I want your joy and peace. I may not understand, but I DO believe you are the answer.
Maybe I need to quit seeking the HOW, “How do I do this? How do I do that? How do I trade my yoke for yours?” and just focus on the one part of these verses that I DO understand:
“Come to Me…”
That’s it. That’s all. That’s all I can understand right now. I will come to you, Jesus, and you will give me rest. I’ll just come to you. I’ll choose to trust you to give me rest. You want me to “learn from you” so I will trust you to teach me. This is my opportunity to know you better. Yes, I am weary. Yes, I am burdened. But, I will come to you.
And, I will rejoice in this profound and beautiful truth: You INVITE me to come. It’s your idea, your invitation. That alone gives me hope, and maybe I’m even beginning to get a taste of the rest you are talking about – just knowing that you have extended the invitation to my tired and weary soul. An invitation to find rest - just by coming to you.
I’m so very thankful that Jesus doesn’t wait around for us to figure everything out before He extends the invitation to come to Him. We don’t have to figure it out. We don't have to understand the "how?" All we need to do is take Jesus up on His invitation,
“Come to Me.”
There’s no place I’d rather be.