All over town — all over America — people are busy because Thanksgiving looms before us. Some are in the ever increasing hassles of travel; some are beginning the preparations for Thursday’s feast; others are doing the last of the lawn chores, putting up the outside Christmas lights, draining the lawn hoses, and trying to otherwise “clear the decks” for both the holiday season and the rigors of winter. Claire and I are not traveling any serious distance this time round but, we have all the other things mentioned above on our to-do list for today. Whew.

So, amid all of this activity, it was especially nice that the devotional I have been going through in recent weeks (Tim Tebow’s Mission Impossible One Year Devotional) took up the matter of working while you rest. Yes, you read that right — working while you rest.

“Come to Me, all 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 comfortable, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NASB)

Jesus calls to those who are overburdened and tuckered out and He promises them rest. Yet it turns out that His rest includes work! A contradiction? No, for Jesus reminds us that He is not a mean-spirited, slave-driving, self-seeking kind of employer; He is gentle and humble in spirit. Furthermore, Jesus partners with us even in the work to be done. That’s where the yoke metaphor comes in.

Writes Tebow, “A yoke is a device that connects two animals together at their shoulders and is attached to a plow. In a field, two oxen are paired together to work — usually a stronger one to do the heavy lifting and a weaker one to learn the trade. Jesus invites us to take His yoke upon us, and He makes the burden light. He calls us to do His work, but He does the heavy lifting. He remains next to us, continually guiding us and enabling us to go forward and further in our mission.”

He continues,“There is work because we are called to do whatever God asks of us. But there is also rest because Jesus takes the heaviness of the burden away from us as we follow His lead. When we allow Him to lead, He does so with compassion and sensitivity to our humanity.”

It is a terrific sermonette for a day like today, isn’t it? I’m very grateful I was enlightened and uplifted by reading it this morning and, thinking that perhaps this lesson is one that others could use today, I’m pleased to pass it along.

But be doers of the word,
and not hearers only.