I try so hard. I really, really try hard. I give everything I have to do all the things. As I try I get tired. Weary is a word that I am becoming more acquainted with. I am finding it to be an apt description of my state of being many times.
Weary is more than tired, it won’t be solved by taking a nap. Weariness comes from a depletion of the soul within us. We have given so much of ourselves that we just don’t have anything left to give. We are like cups that have been poured out and never refilled. To be weary is a state of the soul, not the body.
When our body is tired we nap or go to bed early and we can recover. What do we do when our soul is weighted down, heavy, and exhausted?
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)”
“Yoke” is a weird word. What is it? Here’s a picture that I think explains it better than words:
It’s like an ancient form of the three-legged race. The yoke allowed the farmer to control both oxen. The two animals would work in tandem to accomplish the work set out before them. If one was weaker the stronger would do more work.
Jesus is saying, we will get weary. When we do we come to him and we will find rest for our souls. Our soul work will be light and easy because he will carry the weight of it. He will carry the burden, not us. When we live our lives partnered with Jesus our souls find rest.
Jesus is gentle and humble. Because of this reality of who he is we don’t need to worry about coming to him. We can come to him in our weariness and know he will welcome us and partner with us.
When I find myself weary the reality is that I have disconnected myself from Jesus. I have begun to try and live this life on my own strength. The brokenness of this world and my own life will make me weary if I am not partnered with Jesus.
So, how do we do this? How do we stay connected and partnered with Jesus? We can’t see him or touch him. So how do we do this?
I am learning that we are to find our connection to Jesus in three important ways.
- First, through prayer. When we pray our hearts, minds, and souls connect to Jesus.
- Second, through Scripture. This includes private reading, meditation, and the corporate engagement of the Scripture with the people of God.
- Finally, in community. The Scriptures use the word “koinonia”. Being involved with the life of the people of God. This is not just sitting in a worship gathering with people. It is knowing and being known by them. It is doing life together.
As we live out these three things, we will find our souls lightened and the weariness will drift away. Why? Because we have partnered with Jesus who carries the burdens and pulls the weight for us.