Are you weary and weighed down with more than you can handle? “Come to me,” Jesus says. “I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (TPT)
Half-hidden beneath my bowed shoulders, my burdened heart catches sight of those words, ‘easy to please’. I almost laugh at the irony but catch myself and question instead. A splice of any second of my day would find me missing the mark that someone or other has set for me: a phone call I haven’t yet made; a task that has been forgotten; a person that I can’t find time to meet, all played out to the underpinning soundtrack of my day that is my full name: mom, mom, mom, mom, mom.
Easy to please? Sounds like a fairytale. Is this my only yoke to bear? Because we’re talking about keeping it fresh, and there is no freshness to the mule with a thousand yokes.
And I remember how I would run from ballet class straight to tennis, and I would hear the yell, “Heels down!” as my coach tried to overwrite the echoes of, “On your toes, girls!” from the hour before. Even then I remember thinking: it is literally an impossibility to please all the voices at once!
So I lean in and listen to the promise of refreshment and cock my head at an invisible God and wonder. How can a yoke be easy? How can being bound to pull a load also leave one feeling refreshed?
He impresses the answer on me in the way he always does… making me feel like I’ve known it forever and yet have realised it for the first time.
His yoke is easy because he calls us to be ourselves.
And I watch the letters tap out on the page in front of me and I smile, because I’m ‘working’ and yet it is easy. Not only easy but pleasant… refreshing! And I think of my boy, Sam, running at pace along the beach, sweat pouring off his face, and his words, “I love running, Mom, because it’s easy for me.” And I write and I realise that when we’re doing what he made us to do the yoke fits, and it’s pleasant because it’s made for us to carry.
Temporary things can kill you if the yoke was not made for you.
So, what is killing you, is the question, because if it’s the thousand yokes that were never made to fit, then Jesus has the answer:
“Come to me and I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”