I often lose sight of what it means to take on the yoke of Jesus. He promises an easy yoke and a light burden. He says I will find rest for my soul if I am weary and burdened. But I find that following Him is incredibly difficult at times. It can be exhausting and seemingly unbearable at times. And lonely. Incredibly lonely. Sometimes doing the smallest things that I know to be right requires my entire inner self to be tortured and put to death once again. The death in my life, the sin, it simply won’t die. It seems to be incredibly resilient. And I can grow bitter and cynical to the call of Jesus. He says, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” It feels like anything but rest.
But as I think more about His call to rest in Him, I realize something.
So much of my life is aimed at pacifying my soul, and my pursuits are in vain. In heaven, when my faith shall be sight, when Christ returns and restores all things, only then will I have lasting peace, lasting satisfaction. Only then will I be free from fear and have ultimate security. I vainly pursue sin, those things that bring a temporary security, which isn’t security at all. Or I want Scripture to somehow morph and twist to say something it doesn’t say, so I can be at peace with God. How arrogant for me to think that the reason there is a rift in my relationship with my Creator is because of what His Word says instead of seeing that something within me has rebelled against Him. It’s all a vain pursuit to find peace, perfect happiness, a life where all my dreams are realized. In short, I want heaven right here and right now. This isn’t bad, but what is bad is that I want it on my terms, my own selfish, broken, and arrogant terms. The problem is that heaven cannot exist where there is selfishness, brokeness and arrogance.
That is what I mean when I say all my ways are vain. My own pursuits of fulfillment are in vain. The heaven I seek will always be just around the corner. The bait is always just out of reach. That is what is truly exhausting. It is a vain attempt, a never-ending chase after something that my fingers will never grasp.
But then Jesus comes. He comes as a gentle, humble, and lowly servant. The fact that my Creator, the one I have transgressed, would come to me gently and approach me humbly, with a “lowly heart” so He wouldn’t frighten me, is nearly, if not completely, incomprehensible. He calls to me, shows me the dead end of my pursuits, shows me that I am running with no end in sight, he calls to me and tells me that bringing heaven is His job. He does the work.
He is tortured,
He absorbs the wrath of God,
He will restore,
He will cover me,
He will hold my soul in his hand,
It is Him, and only Him. His life, His death, His truth; it is all ultimate. It is all Him. I cannot protect my own soul. I no longer have a heavy burden or a yoke of slavery. The weight of finding heaven, peace, and satisfaction is no longer on my shoulders; it is on Jesus.
I only have to fall into Him. Trust Him, give him my all, hide myself under His wing.
When I remember this, that is when I remember what it means to go to Jesus and find my rest in Him. Perfect peace, joy, and satisfaction are in Him, and He will restore all things. I can truly sing, “‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word!” He is the living water; I will drink from Him and rest by His stream. I will joyfully take on his easy yoke and his light burden and simply trust. I will stop chasing the lie and rest in the Truth.
“Come Heavy Laden”
(by Red Mountain Music)
Come heavy laden, come and rest,
Your souls from fear and pain;
Jesus the God was crucified,
And died and rose again.
Sweet are His words, sweet is His voice
His smiles are heaven below;
Of all the pleasures in this world,
Tis Jesus I would know.
His holy yoke’s easy and smooth,
His burdens all are light;
In His commandments, though severe,
Is infinite delight.
O! would He raise my feeble soul,
To a celestial flame;
I would, for Jesus, either do,
Or suffer all the same.