Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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." (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV).
Today I return to one of my favorite passages for our reading. The context of this wonderful passage of comfort and encouragement is in the midst of Jesus contrasting the law of the Pharisees and his gift of grace. There was a tremendous difference between the two. The law brought bondage and burden. The grace brought freedom and ease.
I know that as soon as I use that last word, “ease,” there will be those of you who think that I am living in a fantasy land without reality. Your retort would simply be that I must have not ever lived much Life, because “life is certainly not easy.” I couldn’t agree more! Life is not easy. In fact, we are often called on to carry a heavy burden. It may take many different forms, but it never-the-less is still a burden. Jesus doesn’t deny that either. He simply says that his burden is light. There are many reason for that truth, however the central truth is that the burden is light as Jesus comes beside us in grace and bears it with us. The following anonymous poem helps me focus on this truth:
I have in my hands two boxes
Which God gave me to hold.
He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black,
And all your joys in the gold."
I heeded His words, and in the two boxes
Both my joys and sorrows I store,
But though the gold became heavier each day
The black was as light as before.
With curiosity, I opened the black
I wanted to find out why
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole
Which my sorrows had fallen out by.
I showed the hole to God, and mused aloud,
"I wonder where my sorrows could be."
He smiled a gentle smile at me.
"My child, they're all here with me."
I asked, "God, why give me the boxes,
Why the gold, and the black with the hole?"
"My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
The black is for you to let go."
Are you using your two boxes? Come to Jesus… he will lighten your load!
For more by Don Emmitte visit www.gracerestoration.org.