28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus calls us to take his yoke upon us. A yoke, as he refers to it, is a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull. In today’s lingo Jesus would be saying, “You look tired. Come with me, I will give you rest. Let’s hook up and do this deal together. I will do the heavy work; you just stay by my side and watch what I am doing. Watch how my every step is tender and kind. You don’t have to be perfect. Just walk with me through this. As you walk with me you will start to walk like me. I will bridge the gap between your imperfection and God’s perfection. I will carry the load, just stay by me.”
This is a verse I have gone to often when I am feeling overwhelmed and overburdened, especially verse 28. I cling to the fact that Jesus can give me rest. I love that about Him. But it wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that I understood the how found in the next two verses. I was at my first women’s retreat in the Colorado Rockies. That first morning during worship I found myself distracted. I was distracted by my almost Pharisaical legalism. I wanted everything I was doing to be perfect. I wanted to be perfect for Jesus and I was worried that all I was bringing Him wasn’t enough. I was constantly striving toward perfection and wondering if I was doing enough. That morning during worship I clearly heard from the Lord, “Stacie, quit striving for perfection. You are beautiful and acceptable in my eyes.” I felt this peace rush through my body and I was free to come into the presence of Jesus just as I was. Throughout the remainder of the retreat the Lord continued to speak those words into my heart. He shined light on my desire to be perfect and made sure that I understood that He never called me to be perfect; He just called me. Period. He called me just as I am. He just wants me to walk with Him. And as I do, He will teach me His ways. He will teach me to be gentle and kind and humble. He will carry my burdens and bridge the gap between my imperfection and His perfection. Is that good news or what?!
My dear sister, if you are exhausted, overwhelmed, and burdened from trying to be enough stop right where you are. Call on Jesus. Hitch yourself up to His cart and let Him carry the load for you. You don’t have to strive for perfection as the Pharisees did, for Jesus doesn’t require perfection. He just wants you. He will lead you and teach you along the way. Just go with Him. He is enough for you. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Go and find rest for your souls.
Lord Jesus, Come. I need you. I need your help. I can’t carry my load by myself. It is way too much for me. Thank you, Lord, for helping me carry all that I have to carry. Forgive me for thinking I could do it on my own. Forgive me for thinking that I could ever reach perfection on my own. If I could, you wouldn’t have had to come and die on the cross for me. Thank you, Jesus, for being perfect and for bridging the gap for me. Thank you for loving me just as I am. Teach me, Rabbi, to walk in gentleness and compassion as you walk. Teach me, and make me more like you. I love you, Jesus. Amen.
For those of you who are curious about how our retreat went…it was phenomenal. Jesus was definitely experienced by all who attended and I think our ladies found rest in the presence of our Lord. I know I did!