28-30″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.”
This is how The Message translates Matthew 11 28-30. The more well known version says ” Take my yoke upon you and learn from me……”
Yesterday when I was asking the Rev. for advice about an essay I am writing about “Pastoral Care”, he quoted this verse. Later when I was reading a study for a bit of inspiration, this verse jumped out at me again.
In the afternoon I went to visit a friend who felt called to pray for me following my recent stay in Hosp. ,she said that she had a verse for me…. you know what it was? Matthew 11. 28. By now I was beginning to realise that God was trying to tell me something!
I am not usually a fan of paraphrase, but the words ” Are you tired?” hit me, Yes I am! What should I do about it..” come to me”, Jesus says… easy, nothing complicated, just come. Then it says ” Get away with me and you’ll recover your life, I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” This has green pastures and cool flowing water written all over it.
I am busy most days planning church events ,preparing props, setting agendas and filling up the calender. I send e.mails to remind others, liaise with others and write about my Christian life. So where does prayer, apart from the quick messages I send heavenward, fit in.
I’m ashamed to say, I skimp on time with God.
One of the things I’ve learnt lately is just how busy I am. Do I need to be. If you look in the Bible, if Jesus needed time away to pray ,you can bet that we do too. Strange we all know this but isn’t prayer just the hardest thing to do? Not the actual speaking but the making time.Over my years of following Jesus, time and time again I have had to stop myself, I get so involved I stop spending time in conversation with God, yes he knows my thoughts but he tells me to “come”, if I don’t , how can I know his will, grow in Him unless I spend time with him. I’m always telling others to do it.
Bailey McBride writes “The yoke of Jesus is all about heart and mind. It helps shape us in the image of Jesus so that we become meek and gentle in all our dealings. It equips us to deal with egos that drive us to all kinds of excesses. It helps us bring every thought and every action under the control of Jesus. It helps us love spiritual things more than we love the world. When we first put on the yoke, it is strangely uncomfortable and disturbing. But as time passes it begins to feel natural until it eventually seems to be a part of us that we could not function without. ”
Sometimes I think we forget we are yoked with Jesus and try to go it alone, that’s when we get tired. So today I am going to try cycling and praying, if the rain allows, at least it gets me out alone. Or if necessary I’ll cycle to a place where I can chat out loud.
“Keep company with me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly…”