We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Jenny Jones.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Have you ever done a “fake” partner workout? You know the kind I am talking about. The workouts that say they are a partner WOD but then you and your partner do all the work at the same time, or even worse, synchronized! So, there is no splitting reps, no sharing any work, and definitely no rest… yeah, I call those “fake” partner workouts. Because in a “real” partner WOD there is a give a take, there is an unspoken (or maybe even spoken depending on how passionate of a partner you have) commitment that you will push and work as hard as you can during your reps, knowing that there is rest in sight and your partner commits to do the same thing.
That does not mean that the workout will not be challenging or that you can simply mail it in, it just means that you have someone to help shoulder the weight of the workout in a more 50/50 structure. Unless you are like me, in which case, you always pick a partner better than you so maybe you can get a more 70/30 situation!
So, why all this partner WOD rigmarole? Because in Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus is essentially saying, “If you do what I say here, then you will get to be a part of the best partner WOD you will ever experience, because I AM YOUR PARTNER!” Notice that Jesus does not promise us a life free of weariness or burden. What He is promising is HIM.
Like I said earlier, just because a workout is a partner WOD doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be hard, it just means we don’t have to do it alone, we have someone to share the load with. In the same way, following Jesus does not make you immune from the hard things of life, it means you have someone not just to share the load with but someone that has literally already done the whole workout before you ever even did a single rep!
In Jesus’ time on earth, He illustrated for us what it looks like to carry the yolk of servant leadership with humility and gentleness. So, in today’s passage in Matthew 11, Jesus is calling us to the same yolk of servant leadership, which can get heavy at times, trust me, I know. But the difference is Jesus didn’t serve like you and I, He served all of humanity to the point of death, death on a cross. Because of that, when we fail, or fall short in our calling of servant leadership; when we are tired, weary and burdened; we can go to Him for not only rest, but restoration and redemption.
We don’t also have to carry the weight of servant leadership AND the weight of guilt and shame of all the time we have fallen short of the example Jesus set for us on how to love people. When we trust Jesus with all our hurts, failures, shortcomings and pursue servant leadership with humility and gentleness, we quickly learn that there is still a yolk and burden to walking in our calling but because of Jesus’ death on the cross the yolk is easy, and that burden is light.
Matthew 11 shows us that we can be thankful for our relationship with Jesus, because when you partner with Jesus it is not just 50/50 (or best-case scenario 70/30), it is Jesus taking all the reps all the time because He loves you. That doesn’t mean it is always easy, it just means you don’t have to do it alone.
As you enter this holiday season, take some time to think about ways in which you can serve those around you. Think about this in all areas of your life: your family, your fitness community, your local community, those around the globe. As you begin to make a list of those you can serve, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the strength and creativity needed to effectively serve each area in humility and gentleness.
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