Jesus the stress buster – Wednesday, 2nd week of Advent/ Isaiah 40:25-31/Matthew 11:28-30
Doctors have our lives down to one word; stress! Often times, most of us find ourselves running around like headless chickens and ironically with good reason. There is much to be done, much to be achieved, much to be delivered. We look for help and should it come our way we are more than happy to get a couple of things off our hands. Ironically, no one has the time to help; it’s a rat race.
Then comes Jesus along with the strangest proposition, “come to me.” Jesus does not begin by telling us where we could go to get things fixed, he tells us who we can come to if we want to fix things. His invitation is specific, ‘are you tired, weary, lonely, overburdened?’ That’s not all, his invitation also carries a promise, “I will give you rest.”
But the truth is that when we are tired, we want to sit on the couch and check out our Instagram profile. Destressing for many could be a staycation. Still others might turn on Netflix with a glass of wine or call Zomato or Swiggy and order some food. Does this help? I guess it does; I have done to same when I want to ‘chill out.’
The reality is that all these measures are like short term leases and before you know it your back to moving your furniture leaving you exhausted. So what really happens is that with the last bite of your hamburger, the last name that ran on the credits of your movie, the flight you catch to get home after the vacation and hopefully not the last dregs of wine in your bottle, reality comes to bite you again…and you find yourself weary, overburdened and stressed all over again.
Jesus has a long term and more personal invitation this Advent; “come to me.” To many this may not seem like a fun option when you’re at the end of your tether. Yet, it is the only lasting option. In him we find rest for our souls. Stop there for a while, understand what you are being offered; rest for your souls. The restlessness of the human heart, the stresses of a day, the pressure to conform and comply can’t be fixed by the world; the world tries to help but it cant fix it. There is no do it yourself kit for a broken heart or a ruptured soul. The power to fix that comes from Jesus only.
When we come to him, he shares his ministry of love with us. Shoulder my yolk he says, walk side by side with me as we minister to bring more people to God. Spending time with him we learn his ways, not the ways of the world. We learn for the best, from him who made the best. We learn how to deal with a restless world from the gentlest heart.
But we may be inclined to say, “Lord I came to find rest and you are offering me a yoke?” That may seem true on the surface but look again. Jesus tells us that the yoke he offers us is HIS yoke and even more, it is easy. The English translation of this word does not do justice to the Greek. In Greek the word ‘easy’ translates as ‘chrestos,’ meaning, well fitting.
Jesus has measured us; he knows our strengths and pressure points. He has taken a measuring tape to every aspect and angle of our life and now gives us a yoke of service and ministry that we can bare. He gives us people in our life after having made sure that this is something that won’t bother us more than the ill-fitting yokes that the world offers us; yokes that we accept knowing fully well we are not capable of handling. Perhaps the burdens we carry, the choices we made, the people we thought would love us, all these were our decision which we never took to the Lord and now are faced with the burden to carry.
This advent, if you find yourself weary and heavy burdened, make some time to sit with Jesus. He will give you rest for your soul.