I am tired.
Tired of houses that don’t sell. Tired of houses that break. Tired of plumbing that backs up and ruins my floors. Tired of fighting with insurance. Tired of paying money for things I will never see a return on. Tired of feeling like my possessions possess me.
I am tired.
Tired of children who fight me at every turn. Tired of losing my patience. Tired of saying the same thing over and over and over again. Tired of being ignored no matter how many times I say things. Tired of feeling like I’m just not the parent I want to be.
I am tired.
Tired of feeling like I’m spinning my wheels. Tired of talking to a generation that has a very difficult time listening. Tired of feeling that no matter what I say, it falls on deaf ears. Tired of speaking lessons that I should be living out instead. Tired of talking, talking…always talking…and rarely living up to the expectations I put on others.
And my guess is that so are you. We are too often tired and stretched out and worn by kids or jobs or houses or school or religion. We are a tired people.
Which must be why I hear these words of Jesus so much. I hear them repeated often because we long for them to be true.
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30
It’s that promise that sounds so attractive. You will find rest for your souls. This is the promise for the tired. The vow for the exhausted and worn out.
Trevor did a good job yesterday of pointing out what Jesus was saying here. Here is what he was not saying:
He was not promising you houses that are maintenance-free and will sell quickly.
He was not promising you financial security.
He was not promising you a magical gift of parental patience or wisdom.
He was not promising that people will suddenly start listening to you.
He was not promising you health, wealth or success in your business.
He was not promising you a life lacking in religious frustration.
He was not promising you a life free from uncertainty or doubt or fear or aggravation.
What Jesus is promising is a chance to see.
An opportunity to see life through the eyes of someone who created all of this. To understand life for what it is instead of pining for what it is not. To see that following him is not about jumping through religious hoops in the hope that through these activities we can earn an easier way through life.
Because even though your problems will not suddenly disappear, through the eyes of Jesus we can see that our troubles are not as deep as they appear, our flaws do not hold us back as much as we believe and our burdens are not as heavy as we think because we don’t have to carry them on our own.
This is the way of Jesus. It is a lighter yoke and an smoother path. It is the way not to live a problem-free existence, but a better life. It is the way of rest.
And it’s a wonderful promise for the tired.