“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle 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
Insomnia is a serious medical condition. It is estimated that 30-50% of the population suffers from some form of insomnia brought on by depression, anxiety, chronic stress or pain. Suffering through the experience of searching for your missing loved one, or discovering they are no longer living, is devastating and, without a doubt, will lead you to many sleepless nights, but, at some point, you will need to rest. The question is how when so much is on your plate, so many people are depending on you to keep everything together, and life continues to move on despite what you are experiencing. The answer is to give it to God.
There’s a reason why so many of our ancestors were able to survive slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement. Remember, many of them dealt with some of the same issues we’re plagued with today, including searching for missing loved ones. Their faith kept them, especially when life reared its ugly head. Even now, our senior citizens will tell you that it was God that carried them through the most difficult days.
That same God is available for you today. His word says that He is just as ready to take on your burdens as He was for the generations that came before you. In Matthew 11: 28-30, he states: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” In three sentences, He shares how you will be able to regain your sense of peace, and find our rest. This is what God wants you to do:
1.”Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden” God is Everpresent. He knows about all of the burdens you carry, big and small. He knows about those things that keep you up at night, the worries that cause your pressure to rise, the things you can no longer control. What he wants you to do is simple. Come to Him. Meet Him at the alter at church, through prayer at home, or conversation on the way to work in the car. The location doesn’t matter, just come to Him.
2. “I will give you rest.” God wants to take all of the burdens, worries, concerns, fears, doubts from you so He can give YOU rest. Rest for your racing mind, wandering thoughts, unfocused life, rest from everything that keeps you running on empty.
3. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me…for My yoke is easy and My burden is light. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a yoke is “a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.” You may be wondering, why is God asking me to take on His yoke when he carries the yoke of the world? He is God. His burden is light. Remember, a yoke is meant for two to carry, so, when you take up the yoke of the Lord, you are not pulling His burdens, He will be pulling yours. Look at it this way, God is right there, next to you, in the midst of your hardship, carrying you and your burdens (your cart, your plow) for YOU. He’s doing the heavy lifting so you will begin to know Him to be God, who takes all of your burdens and troubles away, who helps you endure during difficult times, who never leaves you.
4. “You will find rest for your souls” I know I pulled the text out of order here, but I wanted you to see the end result. Give your burdens to God by going to Him and giving Him everything that is on your heart. He will exchange your burdens for rest.
The act of giving up your burdens requires trust. Trust that God will do what he says He will do. It also requires something even bigger. Surrender, to give up the need to be in control and to know the outcome. For many of you, surrendering will be the most difficult act because you’ve held on so long, been the “strong one”, the pillar, the oil that keeps your family machine running. Now, God wants you, yes YOU, to give it away. Give Him all of those thoughts, worries, doubts, misconceptions, sleepless nights. He wants you to put down your heavy yoke, and take up His that is light.
It’s time for you to rest. Why don’t you give it away to the Father?
Listen to Come Unto Me by Take 6. It will bless you as you surrender your all to God.
Candance L. Greene is Editor and Writer for Black and Missing Foundation, Inc. Her work has been published in several anthologies including Bittersweet: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Women’s Poetry; Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction; and Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir, and the Huffington Post. She is the founder of Cherishedflight Communications, LLC, an editing and writing service. Visit her website at www.cherishedflight.com and follow her on Facebook: cherishedflightcommunications and Twitter @cherishedflight.
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