You children of the 70s will recognize the title of this blog referencing the song, “Easy” by the Commodores. Frankly, church girl that I was, I couldn’t relate to the metaphor of Sunday being easy back then because Sundays were the hardest day of the week (Sunday morning church, people for Sunday dinner, choir practice at 4, Sunday night church, etc), but it was intriguing.
Sometimes I still cannot grasp the truth of what Jesus said about life following Him – that to follow Him would be to find rest for our souls (our minds, our wills, our emotions – our very personalities!) He even said that His yoke (which was a wooden beam used to tie two oxen together as they trudged forward in their very hard labor) would be easy. Easy. Seriously? When? Where?
What is the essence of what Jesus really said? Well, here it is 3 ways (Mt. 11.28-30):
“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.” NIV
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” THE MESSAGE
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-ladened and are overburdened, and I will cause you to rest [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls]. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp or pressing, but comfortable, gracious and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne. THE AMPLIFIED
Following Jesus is following REST!
Following Jesus and His plan for my days is NOT: ill-fitting (having a job to do but being stripped of the resources or authority to do it), heavy, harsh, hard, sharp (pain-causing), or pressing (can’t seem to stay ahead – losing your breath, feeling pushed), wearisome, burdensome, hard work (work is good, a blessing, but there is a work that is just nothing but hard and life-sapping), loud and abrasive.
Following Jesus and His plan for my days IS: go to Him, run, maybe. Because He is gentle and I will find rest for my whole being because He is going to give me rest! In Him? Real rest, recovery, living the abundant life freely, lightly. Ease. Relief. Refreshment. He’ll re-create me. And blessed quiet for my mind, my will, my emotions. Quiet for my emotions! I am sensing/feeling freer and lighter already!
And His call on my life? The work (good works) He prepared for me before time began (Eph. 2.10)? Easy. Light. Comfortable, gracious, and pleasant. Not to mention wholesome (whole, not fragmented, and holy).
I’ll trade this for all the churchy titles and religious service I have done all my life any day. Where do I sign up?…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: I am going to Him. I am going to follow Him and watch how He does this thing. I want to do life the way Jesus did…this is vital to life…”Why in the world would anybody put chains on me…”