Sometimes we hold on to our burdens so tightly that there’s little room for the work God wants to do in our lives! Jesus said that His burden is light and that He gives rest. In this passage, Jesus was talking about the burden of legalism. The ‘yoke’ He referred to was His teaching of the Torah, the Jewish law. Religious people wanted to make up all kinds of rules, but Jesus said, “My yoke is easy”. Are you carrying a list of rules you need to follow to be perfect? Are you trying to earn His love? That’s a heavy burden.
What about unforgiveness? When you don’t forgive someone, you carry a need to fix that person, to make them change or to make them pay for the way that they have hurt you. Eventually unforgiveness turns to bitterness. The need to change another person, and bitterness deep inside your heart; those are heavy burdens.
It could be fear of the future. Do you worry about what will happen tomorrow when you can barely manage your responsibilities for today? That’s a heavy burden!
A secret that you’ve never told anyone is burdensome. Maybe you’ve kept it because of shame. Maybe because you’re afraid no one could love you if they knew. Maybe because you’re afraid of the consequences of taking responsibility for your actions. Holding a secret you’re afraid might be uncovered; that’s a heavy burden.
Busyness is rampant in today’s world. Jesus said, “I will give you rest”. When you don’t have time to be still and remember that He is God, you will rarely find the peace that Jesus gives. When you must go to this meeting and that meeting, because you can’t stand the thought of a missed opportunity, or you think it’s your job to meet every challenge in your society, you carry busyness like a heavy burden.
What are you gripping so tightly that you can’t let it go? Take your burdens to the cross of Jesus. Open your arms wide, pour out your pain, and lay them at His feet. Then allow His healing to fill your open heart.
Receive from Jesus. His burden is light.
Prayer: Lord God, today I give my burdens to You. I exchange my heavy weights for Your freedom and joy. Thank You that You paid the price for me to live a life free from shame, false responsibility, legalism, unforgiveness and any other ungodly burdens. Today I choose to open my heart, to let go and receive from You. Teach me how to rest in You. Amen.
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