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You Can’t Just “Give it to Jesus!”

Before you pistol-whip me, hear me out… (grin)

Have you ever read a passage of scripture that you have read multiple times (like dozens and dozens) and see something MAJOR in a different way than ever before? It happened to me recently…

I was thinking deeply about Matthew 11:28-30 and how it seems that in times of trouble people often turn everywhere EXCEPT to Jesus. I think what most don’t realize is the depth of the promise that God makes us: If you are tired, stressed, weary or overhelmed, I CAN give you the rest that you need. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

It’s the next section that caused me to pause and listen: 29 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.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

“I’ve given it all to Him!”

I have said to people in the past, explaining this passage, that Jesus wants to carry your stuff FOR you. But a few months I heard someone make the following statement using this passage as a scriptural prescription/reference: “I’ve given it all to Jesus! If He wants to do something He’s gonna have to do it!” They said it as if the problem was NOT their responsibility anymore – maybe you just had to be there. And it bothered me. Something just didn’t sit right and I had to think long and often (like off and on for months) and here’s where I landed: It’s great that you have surrendered your issue to Jesus – but you still have a responsibility to the situation/calling. Just because we “give it all to Jesus” doesn’t mean we have relinquished our responsibility about the issue.

But here’s what IT DOES mean:

  • He will pull it WITH us!

    Jesus wants to carry it WITH you. In verse 29 Jesus tells us to “take my yoke upon you…”. If you are “country challenged” like me this might not make a lot of since. But Jesus is using the picture of some oxen working together. He is inviting us to yoke up with Him so that He can HELP us to carry the situation. Notice, there are two harnesses in that yoke – one for Jesus, after all, it’s His yoke, and one for you. He will help you, He will even do the heavy pulling since He is stronger than you are. But it’s an invitation to come to Him, not dump ON Him.

  • You can learn from that situation. He invites us to learn while we do the work together. I have not thought a lot about this phrase prior to this recent time of learning. I am convinced that many people remain in overwhelming situations because they have not learned thru the situation. The purpose of learning is so we can pass the test – fail the test, do it again. For some it’s an endless cycle because they refuse to learn.
  • You don’t have to let that situation overwhelm your attitude. He tells us, “learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,”. I have found that most people are ILL when they are overwhelmed!!! Amen?!? One of the greatest things we will learn in the overwhelming time is how not to be ill, but instead to be “gentle and humble” in the midst of all we are going through.
  • You will find rest even iN the struggle. You know where this brings us to? Rest. If we will allow Jesus to be a part of the solution, learn how to handle the stress in a humble way it will bring a peace that seems impossible. He never promises to remove us from the struggle but He DOES promise that we can find rest.

He isn’t saying, “give it to me – I’ll carry it”. He’s saying, “Hey, come here – I know that life is HEAVY… this isn’t how I want you to live – come BE with me – I’ll help you carry out and teach you how to live this the RIGHT WAY.”

That good news might not be NEW news to you but it rocked me to my core. Now, to actually live it out…

Got something to say? Go for it!