Matthew 11 – When What You Need is What You Fight

Matthew 11 Bible with Tonys Chocolonely Cherry Meringue Dark Chocolate

Today’s Chocolate: Tony’s Chocolonely Cherry Meringue Dark Chocolate

Today’s PassageMatthew 11

Today’s Song: “Hope is the Anthem,” Switchfoot

I’m writing this post on Monday night, and I’m tired. I can hear all the parents in my head asking me what right I, as a single person, have to be tired, as I imagine all these imaginary parents incensed that I have the audacity to be tired and not have kids. But adulthood tires you out no matter how you do it. As you grow up, you grow more aware of yourself, and that includes an awareness of how much time you spend being tired.

Jesus knows. And at the conclusion of today’s chapter, he issues one of those statements without which Christianity might well be unbearable. He invites us tired adults: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (28). We carry around so many burdens, our histories, families, issues, and dragging around all that baggage wears us out–and I can only imagine how those of us who are also subsistence farmers feel. But Jesus Christ offers us rest if we just come to him.

He’s not offering us a cake walk, though. There’s still work to do. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart” (29), he says. There’s a yoke; there’s plowing to do. There’s still prescribed and proscribed behaviors, the Law, the Rules. But when you take up Jesus’ yoke, Jesus plows with you. And in one of his best-known adages, he says, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (30). You’re going to have to bear a yoke one way or another, and even the yoke of trying to live without any Rules is one of the heaviest yokes around. Jesus’ yoke is bearable.

I almost picked out some other verses and wrote about my issues today. I could fuss about what I don’t know and don’t understand and don’t like about the way the universe is and seems to be. I could get on God’s case for how he conducts business here in his creation. But I’ve been down that road before. I remember how in second semester of my sophomore year of college, so many of my prayers began, “God, this isn’t fair!” and ended “Stop yelling at me!” It’s exhausting when you think God’s yelling at you, especially when he isn’t.

I’m tired of building my own yokes and dragging them around. Give me Jesus’ yoke. Let’s get plowing.

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