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When Your Day is Long

Are you tired and worn out? Has your day been long? Recently, I have been challenged by Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus says, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and My burden is light." (ESV) These verses encourage me that when the day is long, I need to run to Him instead of drowning in escapes from this world. He offers rest that the world does not give. Let me explain. 

Verse 28 is not just a general call, but a warm and personal invitation from God Himself. The word 'come' is not a command, but a heartfelt plea. It's an  invitation for each of us, individually, to turn to Him, to choose Him over the temporary comforts and distractions of this world. Whether it's comfort food, shopping trips, or TV shows, these escapes have proven to be fleeting and empty. Jesus, on the other hand, offers something far more substantial, just for you.

Jesus invites us to turn to Him. The 'me' in this verse is a personal pronoun. Jesus is calling us to Him as we live each moment. Christianity is not a call to a program or a religion, but a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. It's about living each day in step with our Lord, knowing that He understands and walks with us in our journey. 

With this invitation, He gives a promise. 'And I will give you rest' is a powerful pledge. 'Rest' is 'anapauo' meaning 'to refresh, rest up.' Jesus has in mind a change of life, a transformed lifestyle through an intimate relationship with Him. This transformation is not the end of all labors or problems, but a deep sense of love, healing, and peace with God. It's a transformation that turns meaningless and tedious tasks into spiritual productivity and purpose, and brings joy, peace, and fulfillment to our lives. My faith allows me to rest in Him. 

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." 

The 'yoke' that Jesus invites us to take upon ourselves is not a burden, but a symbol of His constant presence and support. In biblical times, a yoke was a heavy harness that fit over the shoulders of oxen, usually with one mature animal paired with a weaker or immature one. The stronger ox would carry most of the weight while the weaker one learned. This is a powerful image of our Lord walking with us, carrying the heaviest part of the load, while we learn from Him. It's a reminder that our relationship with Him is personal and intimate, not distant or detached. 

God promises. If we "take" and "learn," He will "give rest for our souls." He will carry the load's heaviest part while we learn from Him. He will walk beside us at each step of the journey. This personal relationship with Him gives the strength for the task. 

What burden can you give to the Lord today? Today, let us find proper, lasting rest in His promises!

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