For most of my life, I was what many would call a “control freak.” The burden of trying to control all aspects of my life, including unexpected life events that wrecked my meticulous and detailed plans or even ending my day with an unfinished task list, became too overwhelming for me that I lived in a constant state of worry and panic. For me, it was just a matter of time before that lifestyle became such a heavy burden upon my shoulders that I could no longer carry; We are not designed to control everything, friends- that’s God’s job.
One day, Jesus’ words in Matthew 11 beckoned me to come to Him and give Him all of the heaviness I was trying to carry on my own.
“Come to me, all 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” (Matthew 11:28-30, ESV).
I must admit, when I first read His words to “take up [His] yoke” to find rest, I was hesitant. How would taking upon a yoke around my neck bring me rest? I pictured an ox plowing a field with a wooden yoke around its head, and the image didn’t bring about thoughts of peace and rest, but more exhaustion. I saw a yoke as bondage. But that is the beauty of Jesus’ words and the beauty of the Kingdom of God that operates differently than the world’s system. Where I initially saw bondage by surrendering my control, God was revealing to me that His yoke is actually a tool He uses to help us move forward in the destiny that He has for our lives.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
When we yoke ourselves together with Jesus, He carries the load upon His shoulders and His peace and rest comes into our lives. His grace carries us while we walk along side of Him, connected to Him, trusting His ways over our own.
Over time, God has taught me to run to Him first and trust Him with every single detail of my life- true rest is found in Christ. The Word of God is so powerful and the more we study and meditate upon it, our foundation will be strong in Christ, and we will continually know how to look to Him any time stress and anxiety tries to overtake us. Let us always be quick to ask the Lord for His sustaining grace and help in our time of need, looking to Him always because He cares for us. When the cares of this life try to overwhelm you and bring stress and anxiety, instead of taking matters into your own hands, we must remember to come to Him every day for rest and peace. Thankfully, His peace surpasses all understanding and is unlike anything else this world can offer us.