Today we sang out of Matthew 11 in our Noon set with Ron Downing’s team—and today Jesus found my heart through this passage. As we came to the words, “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest…” I heard His voice all over again and this invitation arrested my heart in a new way.
I felt the comprehensive nature of this call—the universal plea of it—for we are all weary and heavy laden if we will be wise enough, and poor enough, to recognize it. When Jesus issued this beckoning, it wasn’t as though to say: “If you happen to get weary, come to Me, and I will help you.” Rather, He was pointing at the innate weariness of the human drama, the intrinsic over-burdened state of mankind’s plight.
He was narrowing His gaze on the inward dilemma known to each one of us and crying out to any who will hear to come and find their answer in Him. It is the nature of broken humanity—the propensity of our fallenness—to burden ourselves with a thousand things and laden our lives with all the wrong efforts and strivings.
If left to itself, the human heart will spin off into an endless cycle of self-propagating and self-sustaining efforts—all tiring attempts to keep my world working and revolving around “me.” Unless purposefully yielded in humility to the great Source of life, we will automatically run the “rat race” and chase after the wind.
Knowing this natural proneness of the human heart, Jesus gave the invitation for the weary to come to Him, and He was saying in effect, “By the way…you’re all weary in some dimension…for only in as much as you are wholly and fully drawing every sustaining breath from Me and drinking of my life in every circumstance and every moment, are you truly at rest.” This is why it is the poor in spirit that are blessed. It’s in our poverty that we reach for freedom.
It is wisdom to recognize that we have unnecessarily burdened ourselves and put upon our backs many unnecessary encumbrances—making ourselves weary and heavy laden in the process. If we see this weariness and perceive our poverty therein, we will be prepared and made able to receive the rest that Jesus so lovingly desires to give to us. It is only those who know their spiritual poverty—the poor in spirit—that enter into the blessed state of living we were created for. Today I felt those traces of weariness that I hadn’t even recognized were there.
With Jesus’ words so fresh, ringing in my heart, I felt those dry parts of life, even in my present journey as a mom, where I’ve lost touch with the great Fountain and have been seeking unaware to draw strength and life out of my own dry well. I felt those spinnings of the rat race and the weariness therein. His light shined upon these fruitless strivings with empty yielding and in my poverty, I heard His voice. With His voice of many waters He said, “Come to Me” and I recognized my own parched heart and my great need for quenching.
To come to Him in this way—to respond to Him and actually approach Him in my heavy laden state—is not a onetime or even an occasional event. My heart is a constant pull toward wearying propensities. I am continually drawn and drug back to that heavy load of pride, that arduous burden of fighting for myself. I must come every day, and all throughout my day, continually and constantly aware of my spiritual poverty and always and at all times calling upon Jesus to be my Source and my Strength.
The meekest Man of all did not consider it too much to lean upon His Father for all things, refusing to do anything a part from Him—even stating His inability to do anything a part from Him (Jn. 5:19). This is our Teacher and our Master, and we are not greater than He (Jn. 13:16). He has given us example that we might live as He lived and walk as He walked. This is where the burden becomes light and the yoke becomes easy. This is where we cease from all the frenzied fight for ourselves and enter into the rest of humility.