Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I must admit that I have often been skeptical of Christ’s offer. It seems that the Christian life is anything but easy. When I think about the daily sacrifice of self and the cost of obedience, I waiver. This faith thing is not easy. It, in fact, costs all of me.
The alternative to giving my mess to God, of course, is that I carry it. As one who has been crushed under the weight of my own disaster, I find that it is no difficult choice at all to give it to God. The words of Christ are a beautiful comfort to those who have come to know the misery of following self.
If daily following Christ meant nothing other than being daily delivered from the mess of me, it would be worth it. If following Christ meant nothing more than being free from the guilt of my own sin, it would far outweigh any cost to me.
My sin oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more…*
In following God, I am required to give up self, but I find that this is nothing more than what I wanted anyway. I worry that I will not get to do all the things that I desire, but then I am reminded of where following self got me. In the end, I was begging God to rid me of myself.
To those of us who know the weight of our own burden, Jesus says, Come to me. Give me your misery, anxiety and pursuit of self. You do not have to bear this weight. Come. Know the rest, peace and forgiveness of following me. Yes, it will require all of you but you will find it no sacrifice in the end as you will gain everything.
It is easy, looking back, to see how necessary it was to give up the pursuit of self. It is more difficult today to see how I should continue to sacrifice self. I’m doing pretty good God. Thanks for helping me with that addiction thing. I’ve got it from here…
Success is ever my enemy as when I do not feel burdened, I do not turn to God. I am a slow learner and find that when God relieves me of my burden, I often return to it. The reality is, I always need God.
In learning to leave self and pursue God daily, I find that I am rewarded with God himself. I came to God to be relieved of the misery of me, but I find that the point of it all is just to know God. Leaving behind the destruction is a step in getting to God. It is not the end.
I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Philippians 3:8). Christ offers me relief from the burden of me and in return, gives me God himself. This is an offer I would be a fool not to take.
*It Is Well With My Soul, Horatio Spafford, 1876.