If you are a parent, you can likely identify with the feeling of being burned-out. Other terms such as exhaustion, fatigue, tired, and weary are also a regular part of the parental vocabulary. What is the answer? Does being continually burned-out have to become the normal reality if you are a parent?
Exhausted parents, Jesus calls out to you. Listen to his loving entreaty in Matthew 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.
Let’s take a closer look at Jesus’ words that offer refreshment for you.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Jesus calls those who are weary, those who are feeling the weight of life, to come to him. It is a straight-forward appeal, “Come to me.” This is such a beautiful indication of Christ’s love for his people! His call is based on the power of the gospel. No hoops to jump through. No rules to keep. No forms to fill out. Just, “Come to me!”
As compelling as his invitation is, the promise is even more.
I will give you rest.
Wow! Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Universe, is saying to tired and wiped-out parents, “Come to me and I will give you rest!” Jesus knows where you are. He knows your heart and he has your back!
Someone is probably thinking, “It can’t be that easy!” The answer is both yes and yes. Yes, it is that easy! And yes, there is more to do than just listening to his words to find the rest that Jesus promises. But do not miss the power of his promise!
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Christ offers his promise in the familiar form of a covenant. As the maker of the covenant, he offers his help and seals that offer with a promise. Then the covenant-maker gives the terms of the promise. This is the covenant. In this case, the terms are to submit to Christ’s rule, (take my yoke upon you) and learn from him. Taking his yoke means submitting to his rule and agreeing to follow his instruction. Christ is calling us to replace the yoke of slavery to sin and self-service with his gentle yoke. As Paul says, true freedom only comes when we are eager slaves to Christ.
After the terms of this covenant agreement, Jesus offers tender-loving encouragement in the form of a blessing. He tells those who are exhausted that he will give them rest. Compared to the cruel yoke of selfish desires and sin, his yoke is easy to bear and light. By taking his yoke, you will find true refreshment!
Parents, when you are feeling the stress of being wiped-out, of feeling burned out, Jesus invites you to take his gentle yoke on your shoulders and find his gentle rest.
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This post originally appeared on Shepherd Press and was republished with permission.
Jay Younts is the author of Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, and he is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is a ruling elder at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.