With Covid-19, we’ve all become familiar with loss—that may be loss of a loved one, of a job, or even of hope.
But there is a loss that is overlooked, especially as life slowly goes back to normal.
These past couple of years, I found myself in a rollercoaster of seasons. From being sure and full of life, to full of questions and a sort of emptiness inside. After two years of building a daily routine of staying at home, I felt stuck there even as things started to get back to “normal.”
Things that once came so naturally, like fellowship and community and truly living life, now, felt so unusual. It felt paralyzing—purposeless, even. It was as if life was moving forward before my eyes, and I couldn’t keep up.
There was this overwhelming pressure just to go and revert to the way things were.
Some of you may feel this way too. And that is okay.
As the first quarter of the year comes to a close, you may be wondering, “How can I live life again? Is it even possible to live life with wonder and vigor once more, despite the changes and despair I've been through?”
We can find the answer in this invitation Jesus gives:
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
An invitation. Much like this year’s Holy Week. At the start of 2022, restrictions have been lifted. There’s that urge to come out again, do the things we weren’t able to do for a while. And then we get easily tired. Three months building up to this year’s Holy Week, it’s as if this week invited us to pause again. Life has gotten fast again. And there’s that invitation.
Much like Jesus’ invitation.
He invites us to simply come to Him. He invites all, not just those who have it all figured out and have it all together but anyone who is the opposite—the tired, the weary, and anyone with burdens so heavy they cannot carry it any longer.
And He does not stop with merely calling out to us, but commands us to take His yoke and presents to us the character of Jesus we so easily forget: humble and gentle at heart.
God is not proud nor is He masochistic. At His core, He is kind and tender-hearted. And it is when we accept this invitation that we are surprised with this gift. His yoke is easy, His burden is light. The yoke he commands we carry is a yoke of rest— not a good nap or the physical rest the world offers but a rest that satisfies our very souls.
In Dane Ortlund’s book titled “Gentle and Lowly,” he explains God’s easy yoke and light burden as,
“You don’t need to unburden or collect yourself and then come to Jesus. Your very burden is what qualifies you to come. No payment is required; he says, “I will give you rest.” His rest is a gift, not a transaction. Whether you are actively working hard to crowbar your life into smoothness (“labor”) or passively finding yourself weighed down by something outside your control (“heavy laden”), Jesus Christ’s desire that you find rest, that you come in out of the storm, outstrips even your own.”
And so, each day, we have a choice—will we accept this beautiful invitation to entrust and live this life alongside Christ? Or will we continue to carry the weight on our own strength?
May our souls be refreshed with the living hope we find in Christ and be reassured of His humble and gentle heart that we would one day be filled with wonder once again.
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