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My Mother’s Christmas Wish

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Weighed Down

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28, 30 (NIV)

A young woman came in to the gym where I was working out a few days ago.  She walked around looking at all the equipment and stopped in the area that is usually reserved for squats.
She was looking at all the different sizes of weights as if unsure which ones to add on the bar so I asked her if I could help. She said “No thanks. I think I will start with 45 pounds on each side.” I guess my face looked like “what?!” when she said, “That’s only 90 pounds total; that’s not very much. What do you do?”
I told her that I put 10-15 pounds on each side, not 45, because you also consider the weight of the bar.
I might add that squats are one of my least favorite exercises. You place equal amounts of weight on each side of the bar, place it on your shoulders and grip tightly with both hands as you squat down into an almost sitting position and then stand back up.
The young woman told me it wasn’t much weight for her shoulders and she could do it so I went back to my workout routine. Only seconds later I heard a loud slam and looked over to see her on the floor on her knees with the weight lifting bar and weights laying across her shoulders. “Guess that weight was too much,” she said as she told me that thankfully she was not injured.
In today’s Key Scripture in Matthew 11, verses 28 and 30, Jesus is speaking about a burden – a weight – but it’s not physical. Instead He is speaking to the people struggling with the burden placed on them by the Scribes and Pharisees to adhere to strict laws. He contrasts the burdensome Law of Moses with His offer of rest for the weary. What a beautiful thought. Rest. For. The. Weary.
Just as that young woman thought she could lift a huge amount of weight on her shoulders and not fall or fail, we weigh down our lives with worries about children, spouses, jobs and car payments, and we toss in stressors about everything from the weather to a sports team score. Then we add every sin. Every sadness. Everything that we are ashamed of and hope no one finds out.
Jesus gives a rest, a peace, unlike anything this world can offer. His yoke is easy and simple: just lay all those burdens at His feet. And leave them there.
Just one burden may seem light but there is never one. There is always additional weight – burdens – added on until we too drop to our knees, unable to carry one more thing. And that’s just the point: we don’t need to carry them!
Jesus is asking us to give Him those heavy weights in our lives and accept His gift in return – rest for our weariness. My encouragement today is to trust His perfect plan for your life as he replaces your burdens with a peace in knowing that He who is faithful loves you more than you can ever imagine and He is never weighed down.

Father, too many times I think I can carry all the weight of problems in my life when I can’t. I give them to you now and ask that you grant me rest. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Have you ever felt so weighed down by problems in this world that you could literally feel them crushing you?

Try this experiment. If you have weights in your home, hold one in each hand for about 10 minutes.

Now put the weights down and notice how much lighter you feel. Compare that to the difference it makes when you give all your “weights” or burdens to Jesus. Thank Him.

Matthew 11:28, 30 (NIV) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I Peter 5:7 (NIV) “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Psalm 55:22 (NIV) “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”

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Copyright 2013  Nancy E. Hughes