Summary: God gives rest for our souls by living up to our purpose in life.

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Series: It’s Backwards

To Rest Take On Burdens

Matthew 11:28-30

We use phrases everyday which do not mean what the literal words say. For instance if I say that I am all ears, I do not mean my entire body is made up of ears or that my ears are big enough that when you look at me that is all you see. It is generally understood by most people in the USA that I am telling you that I am listening closely to what you are about to tell me. I think most of us would be shocked at just how often we use phrases like that – idioms, sayings, clich├ęs, and some of those sayings have been around for quite a while – some of them are as old as the hills. See? That one was a dumb as a rock. Yeah I know those are terrible I am almost finished so don’t have a cow. Quit responding it will just egg me on.

That brings me to the real phrase I want to use: The straw that broke the camel’s back. This phrase originated from an Arab proverb, I know that is a surprise because camels, well, they aren’t really used in many other places in the world are they? The idea behind the phrase is how a camel is an animal well equipped to carry heavy burdens but there is a limit to their ability. There is a point where they physical body will not tolerate any more weight, and even a small amount over the limit will finally break them and now they can’t even carry a regular load. It also is the origin from the phrase “The last straw,” where the same thing is true; a load is placed on the animal and one more think even though it is really small by itself causes the whole thing to collapse.

How do you avoid having something like that happen to you? One way would be to avoid letting things pile up on you and try to pass off as many burdens as possible to someone else. That’s the way some kids would do it; the cleaning, work around the house, things that cost money – hey they are just a kid and adults are supposed to be like that.

Each of us will face a time where things weigh so heavy upon us that it seems if one more thing will crush not just our body but our very spirit. Children who find themselves in trouble will often cry out to their parents looking for help so they won’t be piled under, adults will sometimes ask for help be it professionally or through friendship.

I. A Load too Heavy.

A. What weighs on people the most?

1. One of them I see is the feeling of Loneliness – no matter how many people you surround yourself with or how many friends you have listed on you page, every person faces moments where no one else is there to help or answer the questions. Friends can’t always be there, the spouse doesn’t always understand, the family is occupied with their own problems, and the church doesn’t seem to miss you if you aren’t around. Isolation is more than just being away from people, it is a sense of being disconnected and it happens every time there is a change. This weighs very heavy on some people.

2. Almost everyone has at some point carry the burden of Sickness – Or even a continual or nagging condition is a burden for someone people – there are diseases that you have to deal with for the rest of your life or complications because of an old injury which still nags. Those things have to be managed instead of cured, and that drains your energy. It gets old quickly and makes you want to give up. Some search and search for a drug that might make it go away and hope for a fix but know in the back of their mind it is something they will have to manage. Another burden to carry.

3. And then there are our Responsibilities – Things you have to do, have to take care of, must accomplish, or are on the hook for. Other people depend on you, they can’t do their job if you don’t do yours, you signed that contract, and no one but you is going to fix that when it breaks but you. And if you are a responsible person you know what happens? Other people dump the stuff on you that they don’t want to be responsible for. And the camel gathers more of a load closer to the breaking point.

4. Also there are the burdens of Consequences (ultimately Death.) Where that mistake or bad choice made in the past catches up with you, or the selfishness of a family member keeps coming due. But those things are trivial to the one huge consequence that looms heavy over all of us; death. The consequences of sin in this world is that death is looming out there for each of us, the unavoidable end to our days - the thought of death is heavy and we just try to ignore it, but the older you get the more of your friends and family are taken by the ruthless grave. That is a burden we have to carry but are unable to carry.

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