“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
Jesus words to his disciples confused me as a child, and honestly they still do now. When I was young I thought a godly life meant avoiding things that others in town enjoyed freely. I was on the outside looking in as my youthful peers spoke of their first cigarette, drink, and engagements with girls. Their lives seemed carefree, and mine a burden.
I remember commenting once to my father as a teenager that I wish I had come to faith from a life of drug addiction because then my testimony would be powerfully compelling. He smiled and said, “But just think of all the heartache you’ve avoided by the path you have taken.”
Dallas Willard speaks similarly in a chapter titled “The Secret of the Easy Yoke.” He writes, “To depart from righteousness is to choose a life of crushing burdens, failures, and disappointments, a life caught in the toils of endless problems that are never resolved. Here is the source of that unending soap opera, that sometimes horror show known as normal human life. The ‘cost of discipleship,’ though it may take all we have, is small when compared to the lot of those who don’t accept Christ’s invitation to be a part of his company in The Way of life.” (In The Spirit of the Disciplines).
Do you seek reprieve from a “soap opera” life? Have you been fed the lie that following God will mean just one more burden? What’s keeping you from leaning on God and following his ways? Doing so may bring rest for your soul like you have never known.
God, I desperately seek the restful yoke of following you. Help me choose your way so that I may know your pleasure and peace rather than the horror show I know today.
Thought: Name one thing you know you want to do but will only lead to heartache. Name an alternative action that you know will bring peace.
By Dr. Bill Strom
Used by Permission
• A Yoke of Freedom or Bondage – by Karen Woodard
• Invited to Rest – by Suzanne Benner
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