“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me. For I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30 MEV
This is a conundrum — Come to me if you feel overloaded and exhausted, and I will give you rest … Now take up this yoke and get to work. What is Jesus up to here? How can he promise rest and work in the same breath?
Here’s the thing. When you come into intimate communion with him, the work that he invites you to do is not hard at all: it’s simply to believe that he is Christ (John 6:29). When you do this and accept your role as his beloved, then your work in this world is easy, and the burden of being beloved is light.
In fact, being his beloved becomes your vocation, and it is the easiest thing in the world. Yes, you still have to live with the stress of your job or the burden of family strife or the headaches of financial pressure … but at the same time for you there is a deeper and eternal source of peace and rest.
Jesus himself demonstrates this — he could say his yoke was easy and his burden light although he knew the work God required of him was to lay down his life in horrible torture.
This turns on its head our entire perspective of what’s easy and what’s difficult. Jesus could say of the cross, “This is easy — I’ve got this” because he knew his Father, and he knew he was going down the Via Dolorosa for us, his beloved. And he promises us this same assurance.
This is more joy and more love and more hope and more mercy and forgiveness than we can even fathom. But we don’t have to understand it; all we have to do is come to him and find rest.