Imagine walking into an office: the walls are painted white and the aroma of fresh cut flowers is in the air. The receptionist greets you with a warm smile and leads you to the doctor’s office. You open the door and there, in all His glory, is God Himself. He is glowing, you feel a sense of serenity as you float into the room and rest on the lounge chair across from him. After you get over the initial shock that you are sitting in the presence of God, you exhale and then release.
You say, “I feel lonelier now than ever before.”
He says, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah chapter 41, verse 10)
You say, “I am losing my mind, everything is in turmoil and I don’t know what to do”.
He says, “… in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John chapter 16, verse 33)
You see, in Matthew chapter 11, verses 28-29, it states, “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
God invites us to talk with him and to release our burdens to him.
I can only liken this to a therapy session, especially in a time like this when we are all home without an outlet or a means to release. We are all constantly reminded that we are in this together, but some days, I just want to scream. I want to curl up on a couch and let someone know all my fears and ‘what ifs’ as I try to maneuver this pandemic.
But this passage reminds me that I can go to God if I’m weary and heavy laden. The truth is, I’m just tired of the uncertainty because it’s scary. And for all my ‘Type A’ personalities, ‘Planners’, and my ‘Vision Board enthusiasts’, it’s the biggest burden not knowing the next move. Then you become weary, tired and exhausted by life and the unknown future. But God is inviting us to come unto him and lay our burdens down.
Spoken about in Matthew, it is a wooden frame that is placed around two animals’ necks for them to pull a cart or plow in the olden days. Taking a yoke upon me is another burden, this is work that is going to make me even more tired.
But Jesus doesn’t say just any yoke, he says ‘my yoke’, which one writer says refers to discipleship with Jesus (Biblegateway). This yoke, when further explained, is learning from Jesus about God’s truth and not about the ritualistic obligations that were being forced on us, which then becomes a burden. The yoke that we have refers to the burden of trying to be righteous using our limited knowledge, while God is offering a better alternative. He offers us a way to understand that we don’t need to be burdened down if we knew what he knew.
If we partner up with Jesus, we don’t have to try and figure out our next step alone because we are link to him and he will steer us in the right direction. And if we release the control and go with Jesus, then we won’t feel the weight of the yoke because we aren’t lifting it ourselves and we aren’t fighting to get on to the path we think is right. A lot of our struggle stems from the fact that we are trying to figure out life by ourselves. His word says to cast our cares on him because he cares for us (1 Peter chapter 5, verse 7).
How can I decline his invitation?
If we had the opportunity to be given a tour of Dubai by the creators, I’m sure we would gladly jump at the opportunity – at least I would. Because I would like to know the “whys” and “hows” of how the city was made. I would be totally confident in having them give me a tour because they would know the city better than anyone else.
This is how I see this life journey. If I have the opportunity to go through life with the creator of this world and the creator of me, how can I decline his invitation to come to him and release my burdens? He knows the ‘ins and outs’ of anything that I could possibly come across.
So, in this time of uncertainty, I take myself to the lounge chair of the creator, I let out a sigh, “Let me tell you about my day.”
“BibleGateway.” Matthew 11:28–30 - NIV Application Commentary - Bible Gateway, www.biblegateway.com/resources/nivac-sample/Matt.11.28-Matt.11.30.
Ashea West is a third-year medical student from Manchester, Jamaica studying in the USA. I am passionate about sharing the gospel, using whatever opportunities I am given. I do believe in blooming wherever I am transplanted.