We are often tired by the grind of daily living. For it matters not where you work or what you do, work is laborious. And then we also feel the weight of living in this fallen, conflicted world – and all the burdens that come with it.
Burdens – life is full of them. Grief, loneliness, remorse, separation, concern over loved ones, a job you hate or the lack of one, health problems, financial difficulties – and the list goes on and on…
Not to mention the internal burdens and turmoil we carry. The ones we never even share with others. And the especially plaguing remorse over our own condition.
The weight of remorse
Likely not a single person exists who doesn’t deal with remorse. And that’s often the heaviest burden of all.
The remorse we feel for past mistakes, actions, and words. The shame of our own wrong-doing. The anguish of broken relationships, and the strain of being unforgiven. Our mind rehearses these again and again, and sometimes others point their accusing fingers too. Until our days become so heavy that it takes our every effort just to rise from bed.
Have you been there? You move forward, away from your past. Only to have it thrown in your face again? Until like someone toiling under the hot summer sun, you stoop lower and lower, your steps dragging more and more?
The yoke of rest
In the midst of our weary, burdened lives Christ tells us that there is a rest for the weary. So if your heart cries for rest, then hear his words.
Now, a yoke is actually the last thing most of us would connect to rest. After all, they’re made for work! Yet these wooden or leather frames placed across the shoulders actually do help to lighten heavy loads. And most interestingly, in the case of animals, they also serve to unite and help them pull in tandem, making their burden lighter.
So Christ, in calling us to carry his yoke, is asking us to walk in tandem with him – letting him share our burden. “Walk with me and we’ll pull together,” he says.
Sin is, of course, the greatest burden we’ll ever have to carry, whether past or present. Because sadly even after we’ve repented, confessed, and tried to make things right – our past sins often continue to haunt us. Because either we or others refuse to forget them, or because of the scars and consequences they leave in our lives.
But Christ offers full forgiveness and complete restoration. He takes our sins and casts them into the depth of the sea (Micah 7:19). Into water so deep that no one will ever be able to fish them out.
Rest for your soul
Yet, the yoke is an instrument of work. It’s not to be used while sitting down or in idleness. So being yoked with Christ, doesn’t mean total rest. It does not remove us from this weary world or from its trouble, trials, and toils. Nor does it cancel our need to work.
Christ never promised us a life free of troubles, but to give us rest FROM sin and all its guilt, misery, and power – and IN the midst of all our troubles.Tweet
He never promised a life free of troubles, only to help us in them. And to free us from sin’s power, and its guilt and remorse. In him our sins are gone. And in him we have a chance begin anew. By getting under his yoke and walking in tandem with him, we are free:
- To walk and work in rest.
- To leave our yesterdays with all their guilt and misery behind.
- And to face tomorrow in rest and as new creations in him.
It is only by walking with Christ that sin’s stranglehold on our hearts is broken. And that we are free to let go of the past, to face today’s troubles, and free to live as new creations.