Summary: Walking with Christ’s help (rest) – He’ll carry the burden!
Monkey on My Back
Scene: Person walking around with monkey hanging on their back.
Character: Person holding monkey
Props: Monkeys that can hang (labels such as finances, marriage, etc.)
Character: “What am I going to do? I am so tired. I didn’t get any sleep last night. I still have a job to do today. If I don’t work, we don’t eat and we don’t live.”
Turn and walk away from the audience so that they can see one monkey hanging from your back. Continue to add monkeys and comments as necessary to make point.
Relief! We hear commercials galore that tell us how their product can give us relief from anything and everything we can imagine. We can get relief from acid problems by using Tums, Rolaids, or the other 500 hundred medicines. Who could forget Pepto-Bismol? “Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea! Yea, Pepto-Bismol.” If you have chronic pain issues such as back pain, moderate to severe arthritis, or a number of other things, you will pay and do most anything to find relief. The medical community has come up with the amazing ability to help symptoms or even heal a large number of illnesses. Yet, with all our technological capabilities, we still don’t have a source of relief for the pressures and struggles of daily life. Who can help us get the monkey off our backs?
In Matthew 11, Jesus gives some instruction to those who would follow Him. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.” Jesus exhibits many different character traits. Today we will be discussing His gentle, helpful side. He knew long before we did of the great struggles of raising kids, having a family, and the deepest parts of life. He knew that we would reach our limits. Our patience will be tested beyond our ability to withstand it. Our own human limitations will draw us away from God. Yet, Jesus promises to do something that may seem almost impossible; He will share the load. He gives three specific instructions to help you share the load with Him. First, you must come to Him for help. Secondly, you must take what He provides and finally you must learn His ways of handling life!
Come – Reach for Him!
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus gives an invitation to everyone who had labored so much in that day and age. He wasn’t just referring to physical work but to the difficulty of being obedient to all the laws of the Old Testament and the ridiculous 600 extra rules laid on the people by the Pharisees. The people had tried and tried to live their lives according to all the rules, be good people, and raise their families. Yet, instead of rest, peace, and fulfillment they found condemnation and more rules to follow. Jesus even pegs the Pharisees for putting so many heavy burdens on the people and not lifting a finger to help them. On the Sabbath, God did not want man to work. That was the day in which everyone worshipped God in the temple. Yet, the Pharisees said that the people couldn’t walk more than 1 mile at a time without resting or that would be work. This is just a very small example of the kinds of silly laws that wore out the people. The people had enough to do everyday without one more thing. So, Jesus invites them, even at the end of their ropes, to come and find rest.
Children know how this process works better than adults. Mayah even seems to understand this and she is only 1 year old. One day Amy visited me in my office here at the church and I had the radio on. The Christian radio station was playing pretty good music and Mayah was walking around playing with stuff. Well, she found her way to the radio and started playing with the knobs and buttons. She finally found the volume button and turned it all the way up in about a second. She flailed around, dropped to the ground, and crawled frantically towards mommy looking for comfort and safety. Even at one year old, she knows exactly who to go to when she needs safety and comfort.
Jesus says come for a reason. He sits waiting to gently and loving lift the pains and troubles from the shoulders of those who would come. He cannot just take the problems away. He cannot rip them out of your hands and just magically fix them. You have to come to Him and give them to Him. You must realize that He is the source of what you are looking for and that He is willing and able to help. Jesus will gladly share the load with you but you must share your load with Him. You must pray to Him and tell Him about what’s bothering you. You have to stand before Him and honestly let Him know. Yes, he is omniscient and knows all things but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want you to learn to speak to Him and communicate with Him. He wants a relationship with you which means you must come to Him in the same manner as Mayah crawled to Amy.