How to handle baggage well

As I walked to the station at the brink of tears, muscles in spasm flaring up an old injury I wondered what on earth had possessed me to carry such a heavy weight of luggage all on my own. It reminded me once again that we are not designed to bear the heavy weights of life alone. We need to share the load well. When we share the load the burden of the weight, we have been carrying is no longer wearisome but in my experience, it can become spiritually productive with great purpose.

In the book of Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you unequal-oxen-yokedrest. 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”. When we are weary and burdened Jesus invites us to come to Him, to share with Him our weariness, the things that weigh us down and He will give us rest. There are no maybe’s, it is a promise that we can indeed find rest in Jesus Christ who is the giver of a supernatural peace which surpasses all understanding (Philippian’s 4v7).

A yoke is a harness that was made from wood and was extremely heavy. It would fit over the shoulders of an oxen around their neck. Carefully carved by hand to fit them to avoid pain or discomfort. The harness was then attached to a piece of equipment that the Oxen would pull. The yoke represents the difficulties we can face when we partner with Jesus. Relationships, ministry, work, are just some of the things that can weigh us down. When we invite Jesus into our lives, we are not promised a life without suffering but we do know that Jesus’s yoke remains easy. The yoke is still a tool used by the oxen to work hard but the yoke is shared and instead of all the weight falling on our shoulders Jesus who has much bigger shoulders and much more strength than we do is up front and is helping. Jesus does not want us to carry the heavy load on our own.

I used to pick up the phone first and share my problems in a panic with trusted friends. Now, there is absolutely
nothing wrong with that in and of itself. It is necessary to have a crew of trusted people around us who we can trust and “do life with”. However, Jesus extends an invitation to us when He says, “Come to me”. He wants to help carry our bags. In my experience when I come to Him first and then go to my friends, I find that the load is lighter because it is shared with Jesus.

One of the heaviest burdens I have ever faced is the night that our son went missing. My heart pounded, adrenalin pumping around my body, my guts felt like they had been ripped out of me. After helping the police, and motivating people to pray I was tasked with being the person who waited at home just in case he returned there. Friends came over, comforted me, sat with me whilst I went through the process and made me builders tea to help with the shock. Hours passed, with no news and absolute mental and physical exhaustion I prayed a prayer that went something like this: “Lord, he’s your son before he’s mine. Please keep him safe and bring him home”, then, I went to sleep. I slept perfectly for the few hours of the night that remained until we were awoken by the sound of our son’s voice asking for help.

I believe the only reason I could sleep that night was two-fold. Firstly, because of the supernatural peace God gave me through His Holy Spirit. He says, “Come to me”. I went to Him, gave Him the biggest burden of my life and in exchange, I felt a real sense of peace because He was carrying the heavy load. I knew God had got him. Secondly, I knew that on the ground he was being searched for by police as well as the pubic being alerted to keep an eye out for him. The following day I also learnt that over 50 people from our church, friends, and friends of friends we did not even know were also out looking for him, searching for Him through some of the night.

Friends, God is able. He is our greatest helper. Will you accept the invitation He extends to us all when He says “Come to me”, will you let Him help carry your bags?!

A friend of FRC

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