It’s nice to go to a big potluck gathering with friends or family but I especially love to be invited to a more formal dinner where all I have to bring is myself. The host and hostess do all the work, all the preparation, all the cooking and all the cleanup. One could almost feel guilty accepting the gift of someone else’s labor without contributing though I personally try to squelch any such inclinations.
Jesus sends out an invitation that might be a little hard for some of us to accept too. He says “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) There are no qualifications on his end and the invitation goes to ALL. Sounds too good to be true. I remember a particular time I felt exactly like that.
I was in a very difficult place in life. I was suffering from the fruit of decisions I had made before coming to Christ and I was suffering from the fruit of the sins of others that rippled out to me. I was extremely weary. Each day was a painful challenge. I didn’t know how things would work out for my future. Heavy-laden? Yes, that was me alright.
Driving along in my car alone one day I mulled over all the worries. I wanted to share them with my friend Jesus. It occurred to me to ask him to please sit in the seat beside me like a companion going on errands together. Somehow picturing him in the flesh riding in the passenger seat felt comforting. I reached over and touched the seat as if to touch his hand.
I felt like I wanted to take the whole load and roll it over onto him. I didn’t want to just share it with him; I wanted to be totally free of it. But something stopped me. What was holding me up? In a minute I realized that I didn’t feel it was right for him to carry what had never been his fault. Why should he carry my load? Why should I go Scot-free and him be heavy-laden with all my junk?
It must have been the Holy Spirit who orchestrated all those thoughts and feelings because it was then that I had a revelation about his great invitation to partake of grace freely without cost. Take my load? That was the invitation. And at that point I had the grace to roll it all over whether it was “fair” or not for him to carry it. “Oh well” I said to myself, “if he’s offering, I’m accepting.”
Some of us are extremely weary right now. While there are those who are suffering from sinful decisions of others, many of us will have to admit that we played a part in our own heavy load. It’s not all sin either. What about sickness that we never did one thing to invite into our life? What about job loss? What about the economy spiraling out of control? What about the havoc of hurricanes and other natural disasters?
We want relief. We are desperate for freedom from worries that pile one on top the other. If the Lord Jesus is graciously willing to make an uneven trade with us, why don’t we take him up on it? Don’t let the unfairness of it all stop YOU.
He says, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and My load is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30) There’s your formal invitation. RSVP him your YES right away!
Now read Hard Times for additional stategies in navigating difficult economic times.