February 2017

Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer:

“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Matthew 11:25-27 NIV)

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)

God has made himself and his message known to everyone, but only those who trust as children will understand. Only those who will allow Jesus to reveal his Father to them will know him. What does this mean?  It means that Jesus wants us to listen with the eagerness of a child to learn about his Father. (like Mary did at his feet) He wants us to hear with an open heart. This is how we’ll be transformed into the kind of people God wants us to be.

Long ago, Matthew 11:28-30 in the NIV version of my Bible spoke powerfully to me.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…”

How relieved I was to read those words! I had been stressed out by illness, trying to cope with it on my own, but failing. My world was chaotic. I badly needed peace! Like a child, I was full ready to accept what Christ offered. Thirsty. Longing for him. And so, I carefully listened to what he had to say.

As I drank in Christ’s message, he gave me rest and a shedding of the stress I had been under. Not only did he fill my need, but he offered me an opportunity to give to him as well. “For my yoke is easy,” he said. Jesus assured me that serving him was doable, even for a person like me with such severe problems.

Gradually I became a changed person, wholeheartedly accepting the invitation to “keep company” with Jesus. I began working with him, much like a child might be eager to help the teacher she appreciates. It wasn’t hard to do at all.

To think we can work alongside Jesus, without it being too heavy a burden…! To think we can serve, and yet live “freely and lightly…!” How I welcomed such a life!

Are you weary and burdened too? Learn from Jesus our Lord—Jesus, with the gentle and humble heart. Come to Jesus and he will give you rest. He will help you find a life worth living.