In my journeying on Friday, I happened upon a young girl carrying a backpack. She was a very slight person, in her teens, with long slender arms that hung at her sides, her finger tips resting on equally slender legs. Her backback was nearly half her size and it hung on her like a burden, sliding down her back and over her backside. The whole scene invoked a feeling of sadness in me. I wanted so desperately to relieve her of the backpack and offer to carry it to her destination.
In life, we often carry burdens. While these cannot be seen with the human eye, they are as heavy and tiresome as if we carried an oversized backpack stuffed to its limits. It might be caring for children or elderly parents; jobs or tasks not well suited to our interests or talents; health or financial difficulties; a season of change like building a house or moving to a new area; an impending change in the future whether it be marriage or retirement. One thing is certain in life, there will be burdens to bear. The question is not, “Will I face a difficult situation?” but rather, “What will I do when I face a difficult situation?”
The prophet Isaiah recorded a promise given to him regarding the coming Messiah. It bears repeating today.
1Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever . . . 4For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. 6For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7. . . The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!Isaiah 9:1-7
The outstanding aspect of this promise is the final statement – the passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen! There is no promise given to us by God that has not already or will not be fulfilled in the future.Here he promises to lift the heavy burdens from our shoulders. This has been fulfilled for us in Jesus.
28Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”Matthew 11:28-30
What burden is weighing you down today? What keeps you from surrending it to Jesus? He is offering an exchange of burdens — yours for his. While many times the burdens we bear do not come with instructions or training in carrying them, his yoke comes with instructions and the after market service is 24/7/365. Why not take him up on it?