Burden is Light
“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
One night as I was praying and crying out to God, I was telling Him I didn’t understand this in the scripture – “burden is light.”
Why do I feel like the ministry is so hard when it says it’s light? Why does it say I will find rest when I’m exhausted all the time? Why does it say that His yoke is easy when this seems the exact opposite of easy?
I don’t understand it sometimes. It feels like I’m fighting against a million demons from Hell when I know God has to say one word and His angels will destroy them. Why does it physically feel as though it is heavy too…I fell into such a restless sleep.
The next morning at Church, I opened my Bible to Matthew 11 to read that portion of scripture again. After meditating on it for a while, I looked up and saw that P’Pan had put up the same scripture verse on the screen for that day. I literally laughed out loud. God has a sense of humor sometimes. I’m like thank you, Lord. I see you. I see you!
But what are you really wanting me to learn from this?
Weeks later I still questioned the meaning of this scripture until it all fell into place. One night after teaching at SPU all day, I opened my book, “A Chance to Die” by Elisabeth Elliot about Amy Carmichael. Amy was talking about how some missionaries went on furlough so the burden was entirely upon her shoulders. She was questioning why the burden was so heavy and how could she even manage. Then she saw a vision.
“The tamarind trees around the bungalow were olive trees, and under them a man knelt alone. She knew it was the Lord, praying there in the garden for the children. So the burden was His, not hers. She need not to ask Him to share it with her. He was asking her to share it with Him, to search with Him for the lost lambs. “Who could have done anything but go into the garden and kneel down beside Him under the olive trees?””
It hit me. “Come to me.” We look at the scripture as God taking away our burden (and He does). We look at the scripture as God giving us rest (and He does). We look at the scripture as if His yoke is supposed to be easy and His burden is light, and yet He has the weight of the world on His shoulders. It’s not light. It’s light in the fact that it’s RIGHT. It’s the greatest burden anyone could ever bear. It’s not easy, but it being the right burden makes it worth it.
Christ says in the scripture, “learn from me.” Learn from Christ’s life. Friends betrayed Him. People always trying to accuse Him of doing wrong. Gossiping. Questioning. Lying. Cheating. Yet He walked on carrying it all for us. He walked on with such a gentle and lowly heart.
COME TO HIM. No, this isn’t magic where everything is sunshine and roses by saying, “Ok, here you go then” and hand it over. But it’s His burden. Not ours. He doesn’t place it on us but He will share it with us for an important cause. The cause is this: souls. He wants us to go alongside of Him to continue to look for lost lambs. Lost sheep. Lost souls. And what a joy that is being able to do just that!
You may feel like your burden is heavy. You may feel like your work will never be done. You may feel like you’ve been living kind of rough lately. You may feel as though you can’t take or add one more thing to your plate. You may feel completely exhausted. Jesus says, “Come to me” and when we do, it changes the perspective and weight of everything.