|Drop the Luggage|
|Femina: For Wives|
|Written by Nancy Wilson|
|Wednesday, 14 October 2009 20:20|
Have you ever been lugging a large, unwieldy piece of luggage or a couple of large grocery bags or some other heavy item when someone comes alongside and says, “Here. Let me carry that for you”? It is a great relief to meet with such kindness. And unless we are feeling stupidly proud, we respond with something like, “Oh, thank you, that would be lovely.”
This is what Jesus has said to us in Matthew 11:28–30: “Come to Me, all you 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.”
He has issued us an invitation. Are you loaded down? Are you worn out? Come and welcome. Exchange your heavy load for His light one, your difficult burden for His easy one. Take off that yoke that is choking you and exchange it for His easy one. Learn a lesson from Christ who is a gentle teacher. He is humble and lowly, not at all like those self-generated task-masters that whip at your ankles.
Christ is the destination. He says, “Come to Me.” And when we come, we find rest for our souls. Now how could we possibly neglect such an offer?
Sometimes we get so used to our heavy loads that we forget what we are needlessly carrying until God adds enough to it that our knees buckle with the weight. Then we realize how foolish we have been to be dragging around such a weight when our Savior has been telling us all along to take on His yoke, His easy and light yoke. So we unburden our souls and find rest. But if we do not learn from Him, if we continue to be proud and foolish creatures, we start loading up again until we repeat the whole process.
Other times we know full well that we are carrying heavy loads, but we have a stupid pride that keeps us from letting it go. We think we really don’t need help. We can do it. But meanwhile our souls get no rest.
Or we know we are to unload our cares, but we don’t know how. Or we think we have when we really didn’t.
Women can bear tremendous (and unnecessary) loads that they are simply not built to bear. They can become weighed down with many cares. And remember that it was the cares of this world that choked out some of the good seed in the parable. So what are the contents of these heavy loads? What kind of cares do women carry? Cares about finances, health, their marital status, the spiritual state of their children, the state of their marriages, aging parents, their work load, their children’s education, the future, you name it. And let’s be honest here: carrying can be a form of worrying. Jesus told us very frankly that worrying won’t change one thing, not even one gray hair.
So how do we go about unloading these burdens? Take a look at 1 Peter 5:6: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
The first step is humility, recognizing that we have been behaving arrogantly like the woman with her arms full of groceries refusing to receive help. Humility acknowledges the neediness and receives the offer gratefully. So sit down for a minute and take an inventory of your burdens. Are you loaded down with mountains of cares? What are they? Are you worrying? Tell the Lord you are sorry for dragging these heavy cares around and seek His forgiveness for neglecting His command to come to Him. Then itemize them all as you cast them off. “Lord, I am coming to You. Here are my worries about my marriage. Here are my cares about my bank account and my health. Here are my burdens of caring for my children and my home and my sick mother. Here is my loneliness and my grief. I let them all go.”
Then thank God for caring for you. Thank Him for the rest. And then stay near and walk close to Him. Get into that yoke that He has fitted for you that is light and easy. He says, “Learn from Me.” Once we have dropped all our burdens and slipped on His yoke, we are fit to be instructed. And we have so much to learn. When we are hunched over with our loads of cares, we are in no shape to learn. We are far too distracted with all our labor and worries and troubles to be taught. But once we have let it all go, we can pay attention to what our Lord is teaching us. We have come near to Him.
No one has a trouble-free life. But those people who handle their troubles with grace are the ones who have drawn near to God and have cast all their cares on Him.
They are learning from Him.
Troubles and cares will either distract us away from Jesus or they will cause us to run to Him. When we unload them and take up the yoke of Christ, we find that we truly have rest for our souls. Jesus wants us to have this rest, He has offered it to us, and we need it. Find out what it is that is hindering you from going to Him, and then go to Him without delay.