I’ve always been a worker-bee. Well, perhaps not as a child. As an adult, though, and especially as a Christian, I’ve been a worker-bee. I found great pleasure in life by accomplishing a goal, but there was a driven-ness in this way of living. I’ve discovered that being a worker-bee is especially dangerous, spiritually. I’ve lived for a long time under the yoke of what I call "to-do list" Christianity. What a bondage. Self-effort doesn't work when it comes to doing what only God can do,which is anything of any spiritual value. That's why I love the Lord's invitation to the weary, burdened folk who followed Him:
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
As we have seen in the previous blog post, Christ’s invitation in verse 28 is a call to find true rest in Him alone. And this rest is a gift (literally, “I will rest you.”) It’s the rest of spirit that is fixed and permanent, resulting from all that the Person and Work of Christ accomplished for us – total forgiveness, birth into the family of God, union with Christ, and much more. And this rest of spirit is mine when I respond to Jesus' gracious words, “Here to Me” (verse 28.)
But now the question is, how do I experience this rest in my soul every day of my life on this earth? How can rest be mine even in the midst of all the “doing what needs to be done?” How can anapausis, “the inner tranquility of soul while engaged in our necessary labors,” be mine right here, right now? I believe it’s all wrapped up in the image of the yoke.
To read the rest of this post on reflecting on Christ’s yoke and the part it plays in our rest, please join me over at the Dayton Women in the Word blog.