Finding Rest Through Work

KneelingAtTheCross[1]By John Ashley

“Just take your burdens to the cross and leave them there.”  How many times have we heard words like that as we struggle through life.  It sounds good, but in truth we most times come to the cross carrying burdens and leave with them still in our arms.  We want to give them over to the Lord, yet we always own them ourselves.  Jesus Himself told us in Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  We understand that this is a promise of God, but as much as we desire to see it fulfilled in our lives, we don’t experience this promised rest after taking our problems to the Lord. 

Like many promises in the Bible there are conditions associated with the promise of rest here.  The passage of Scripture goes on: Matthew 11:29-30  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”   Jesus teaches that the way of rest is to work.  I know that goes counter to how we think, however that is exactly what He is saying in this passage.  When we bring our burdens to the Lord, they are the main focus in our lives, we need to some how get our eyes off our difficulties.  Jesus is telling us to get a new focus “IN SPITE OF” your burdens.  We need to look to help someone else!

Jesus is saying we need to get involved in His work, His yoke.  He desires for us to come to Him with our burdens and trials, give them to Him, and get busy doing His work!  Then he will give us an education…”Learn of me.”  Friend, Jesus is the example of how we are supposed to live.  Our focus should not be on our burdens, but on other people’s burdens.  Jesus wants to take care of our burdens as we take care of His business.

Then learn about Christ as we are in the yoke with Him.  He, as God in the flesh, was meek and lowly in heart.  Meekness is not weakness, it is power under control.  Jesus had all the powers of the universe at His disposal, yet He was surrendered to do the will of His Father.  It is important for us to learn to be meek and lowly in heart in our lives.  That transformation comes as we learn of Christ and His humble spirit.  A little humility goes a long way.  It is humbling to put someone else’s problems before our own, yet that is when we will find the promise of rest…”and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

The Lord finishes the passage by informing us that the work He wants us to do is easy and light.  That is because He is with us in the work.  A yoke is designed for two oxen to pull together, with Jesus in the yoke we truly can find rest, we can have intimate fellowship with Him as we work together.

Are you burdened down today with a heavy load?  Take it to the cross, give it to the Lord and leave it there…but then take up the work the Lord has for you.  Allow your focus to be on someone else’s problems and you will: learn of Him and find rest unto your soul.  Are you carrying a burden that you thought you gave to the Lord long ago?  Ask yourself, “what work am I doing for the Lord?”  “What am I learning about the Lord?”  Carrying the burdens He wants us too will lighten the ones we tend to hold on to.  I know in my own life, if I focus on helping others I can rest in knowing the Lord will take care of my problems.  Let Jesus lighten your load today.