“I’m exhausted,” I complain to my husband day after day. Despite getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night, I drag myself out of bed each morning feeling like a zombie. My low energy level doesn’t hold up long against an energetic toddler, making me long for a nap every afternoon.
“What is wrong with me?” I wonder as I Google “causes for excessive tiredness.” None of the answers fit: Anemia? No. Lack of exercise? No. Depression? No.
Yet, I know this is not normal. A constant state of exhaustion is not how God intended anyone to live. For Jesus tells us:
“Come to me, all 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 (ESV)
I know how important it is to take time and rest with Jesus. I even wrote about it here and here. And while not done perfectly, I do set aside time most days to spend with God. I even take extra time on the days I really need it.
But doing this only added to my confusion about being tried all the time. “God, I am resting with you, why does it not carry me through my day?”
Only as I looked more deeply into meekness, did I find my problem. I would spend time with Jesus, find rest in His presence, but then I would shut my Bible, and pick back up my burden.
A.W. Tozer says “The burden borne by mankind is a heavy and a crushing thing…[it] attacks the heart and mind and reaches the body only from within.”
My burden was of my own making, full of stress, worry, perfectionism, and unrealistic expectations. Things I picked up every day and carried around to the point of exhaustion.
I had missed the point of Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus doesn’t say, come rest so you can keep carrying your heavy load, He says, “take my yoke upon you…For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”
Again Tozer brings clarity to this verse:
“The rest He offers is the rest of meekness, the blessed relief which comes when we accept ourselves for what we are and cease to pretend.” A.W. Tozer
Jesus is telling us to set down our burden— our worries, our desires, our fears— and follow Him. And notice, the rest comes after the release of our burden and taking up with Christ:
“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.” Matthew 11:29 (emphasis added)
If you feel tired, worn out, or completely exhausted, lay down your burdens and choose to follow Christ instead. For it is only when we become meek, that we find true rest for our souls
What to learn more about meekness? Check out my previous post, What Does it Mean to be Meek?
Linking up at Salt & Light