By Jadi Rodriguez, FAITH RXD Interim Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors.
Today’s workout is to mirror our message scripture. The barbell is on the rack to force you to slide under the barbell and set heavy weight on your shoulders, similar to taking up a yoke.
The dumbbell lunges will take a lot of stepping forward and stepping back. It will and should feel like a lot of work.
The jump rope will require you to be light on your feet and provide your legs some rest while still under stress, much like Jesus’ burden.
Has something been troubling you? Has something been causing you stress? Have you been trying to do it on your own? When I did this workout, it almost broke me to think, “There is still so much I still try to do on my own when Jesus is calling the heavy laden. He is calling me.”
3 RFT 20-Minute Cap
11 Back Squats 225/155
28 DB Lunges 50/35
90 (30×3) Double Unders
Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
One of the most influential men in my walk is named Jim. We met through my friend Jubilee; and Jim was her father. I do not think he knows just how influential he was. It is not like we spent a ton of time talking and bonding. In fact, I would say the majority of the time we spent together, I was observing. But that time observing left a lasting impression in my life.
I would observe the way he would talk to his wife and kids. The way he chose to encourage or correct people. The entertainment he would partake in. The things he would discuss around the dinner table. Those sorts of things. He was one of the first real Christians I encountered, and I wanted to take it all in.
One of the few conversations Jim and I had, revolved around our favorite scripture. I was pretty new to the faith, so I do not remember what I said was mine, but I remember his:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
Even the way he quoted it was poetic. I could feel the weight of the yoke and the relief of Jesus’ burden upon life itself as the words rolled off his lips.
Jim had such a soft and gentle demeanor. Just the way he quoted the scripture gave me relief. Most at the time would probably mistake it for weakness. Still, I knew this man would kill for his family. I had heard stories about his strong character and no-nonsense position to anything that opposed the faith.
When I first encountered these verses, I thought it was a call to the unbeliever.
“Come to me,” Jesus said.
“So glad I did,” were my initial thoughts.
And yes, the calling is to the unbeliever, but it is just as much to the believer as well.
How often do you try to do something your way? How often do you go at something without asking for anyone’s help? Plowing through the pain, enduring the tension, yanking your hair out, trying to figure out why the results are just not there.
Is that how you problem solve at work?
Is that how you discipline your children?
Or perhaps it’s how you try to talk to your spouse? Your parents?
How often do you think you can handle the weight of life on your shoulders alone?
That marriage, that friendship, that parent, that job, that school, that boos, that neighbor.
Saint, Jesus is not just talking to the unbeliever when he calls “he who is weary and heavy-laden.” He calls the proud Christian who drives their hands to labor alone instead of driving their knees to the ground in prayer. He calls the believer who buries their head in self-help books instead of burying their head in the Word.
Oh, my fellow Saint, He is calling you to humility. Take His yoke and learn from Him. Learn the scriptures. They will give you rest.
Imagine being a proud athlete trying to tackle the sport of fitness on your own without a coach. It’s that audacious!
What’s best is He tells you He is gentle! he promises rest for our souls. Just the mere thought of it rocks my heart to peace. My breath slows down, my burden is lightened. Meditate on this calling to humility to total dependence on Christ, and I promise you will feel the weight of the world melt off your shoulders.
Whatever is burying you at the bottom of that squat. Stand up and hitch it to the Lord’s yoke, it is easy, and the burden is light.
John 15:5 ESV
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Utter and absolute dependence is what we are called to.
I find it ironic that we raise our children to the opposite. From the youngest age, we strive to raise our children to be independent. My youth pastor observed his two-year-old, who cannot even speak yet, insist on following him out the door as he left for work this morning.
“She doesn’t even know what I go do,” he told me. “She just wants to go with me.”
I wish I wanted Jesus like that. Thinks about how often our kids ask us to do something for them because they just cannot do it. Yet we know for a fact that they can. Heck, we may have seen them do it dozens of times. Yet they plea.
“Daddy/mommy, please, I just cannot do it without you!”
That’s the kind of humility I want with Jesus.
Do I pray before I drive? Do I pray before I lace up my shoes, put on my pants? Do I pray before I start work? Do I pray before I breathe?
And yet, none would be possible without the Father.
Mercy, it breaks me to realize as I write just how proud I am. To think, I am not humble enough to bring Jesus Christ into every minute task that I set out to accomplish. All because I believe it is in my power and ability. It never ceases to amaze me just how much of a sinner I am.
Forgive me, my Lord. Apart from you, I can do nothing.
John 3:30 ESV
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
HE>I is my favorite apparel company. They are based out of North Shore in Oahu, where I once called home.
It is the most practical approach to humbling ourselves. Humility is not an outward expression. Humility is a heart condition. While the fruit of the Spirit serves as evidence of humility, it is still something that is most righteously judged by ourselves, of ourselves.
We know what fake humility looks like. We have all done it. The question I want you to ask yourself is, did your heart believe in those moments of expressed humility?
Did it believe that the glory was not yours but God’s? Did it think that accomplishing the task was genuinely impossible outside of Christ?
As a CrossFit athlete, especially now doing the Open, I hear, “You can do it!” time and time again.
Sometimes I think I can. Sometimes I think I cannot. That’s my confession.
I pray my posture moving forward is to remember that I can’t even breathe without Him.
QUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION OR PERSONAL JOURNALING:
- How was the workout for you? Did it reveal something unexpected to you, either mentally, physically, or spiritually?
- What burden are you carrying when you un-rack that barbell from the squat rack? How does it feel as it buries you in the bottom of the squat? What motivates you to get up?
- Do you believe that Jesus’ yoke is light? Does it bring rest? How has Jesus taken you up on His yoke in the past? What sin has He saved you from?
- How can you humble yourself today and depend on Christ?