That poor creature there? That's me. That's me when I am trying to carry a load I was never intended to. I take on the weight of my salvation, my children's well-being, my husband disliking his profession, the needs of my church, my neighborhood, my friends... and there I am, suspended in the air like an ass (pun fully intended.)
This verse used to be confusing to me. I was following Jesus and still carrying such heavy burdens. Where was this lighter load He was talking about? Rest? What is that again? I read this verse and felt cynical and let down, and I kept putting one religious foot in front of the other. It has taken the deep weariness of 30 years of carrying burdens not intended for me to make me finally thrown my hands into the air to say, "I give up!" "I can't do this, I can't carry this any longer!" I needed to rest, but I didn't know how. I wanted to trust, but I found my heart frightened and resistant.
It has been a slow chipping away at the walls around my heart. The Lord is gently showing me what it means to cease striving and know that He is God! I am allowed to rest without shame. Jesus reminds me gently of the story of the good Samaritan. I am not the good Samaritan, no, I am the man lying on the side of the road in need. The wounded man was CARRIED to a place of rest. He was cared for completely, out of mercy, and the cost was fully covered. The man owed nothing. The man did nothing to be saved; to be rescued.
I am bleeding on the side of the road, attempting to crawl to safety as I come in and out of consciousness. My efforts are futile, for I am mortally wounded and my gasping energy is only worsening my plight. I cannot save myself. It is absurd that I am trying. I am helpless in my need. I am utterly dependent on the mercy of my Savior. Jesus says, "I will never run out of rest for you, Natalie. No matter how much you need. No matter how long it takes. I will care for you. You owe nothing. The price has been paid in full. Rest, fully in my kindness and mercy to you. Rest."
It's time to give up. It's time to let go. It was never yours to carry in the first place. Join me?