Invited to the heart of Christ
Nov 26, 2021 | 5 min read | Lyubov Zheleva
Although fall is a beautiful season in Bulgaria, I often find myself weary. As the temperatures drop and the sky gets gloomier, my thoughts seem to scatter and rustle like the leaves in the wind. My mind gets anxiously preoccupied and even the simplest of tasks, like paying attention in conversation with a friend or washing the dishes, become strenuous challenges. A few weeks ago, I was busy-minded, heavy-hearted, and restless.
One morning, while observing the changing scenery out the window, holding a hot cup of coffee in my cold palms, I was quiet and still enough to hear His whisper:
“Come to me, all you 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 easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
As I was reading and meditating on this verse, I was struck that Jesus is calling me to Himself— Jesus wants me! He’s inviting me to come to Him in the state and condition I find myself in. This invitation was so gentle, yet so urgent. Christ affectionately offered Himself to me as the remedy to my ache. He is, as ever, accessible, approachable, and accommodating.
I watched the leaves being piled together. Maybe I am not alone in going through this season. Jesus calls all who are weary. I noticed this is more than an individual invitation. I am invited, but so are others. At this time, I felt called to lean on community as a safe space to lighten the load and help carry each other's burdens as we walk side by side on the pilgrimage with Jesus. I have experienced this blessing in the local church and youth group where I serve. I have been encouraged by friends overseas who partner with me and refresh my spirit through caring texts and calls. I am thankful that God’s invitation is also one of family and fellowship!
The end of these verses caught me off guard. What does He mean, my yoke is easy and my burden is light? Those are oxymorons. I thought I was supposed to enter the narrow gate, carry my cross, die to myself, and fight the good fight while living as a sheep among wolves. Then I remembered I am a part of an upside down Kingdom, one of paradox, where to live is Christ and to die is gain; a kingdom where painful pruning brings more fruit and struggles produce joy, where treasures in heaven are more precious than earthly ones; and where the law is love and the hope is glory.
Communicating these truths with my students is challenging. As each of them wrestles through this world, I recognize their search for a safe space. A girl that comes to youth group on Thursday nights shared with me, “Coming here is like a breath of fresh air.” That’s my prayer for my ministry and my local church—that young people would encounter Jesus and his peace in us. I see that their trust in God grows when they find that safety in Him!
The greatest invitation ever is being offered to me—to give Jesus my sin, my burdens, and my worries. Christ gives Himself to me in return. He is the Prince of Peace, the One that knows what I need before I ask, and the Creator of my soul, who alone knows how to satisfy it. And that’s a promise! I will give you rest. He will give me a place of safety and serenity for my soul to rest—Christ’s own heart!
Are you heavy-hearted this fall? Are you tired of lockdowns, zoom meetings, family arguments about vaccines and politics, and the church's division on these heated topics? What’s weighing down your heart? Things just seem to pile on. Let’s dig a little deeper. Is it that time you went to a worship service grumpy or how you reacted to your child disobeying? Or is it the moment when no one showed up at youth group after you prepared the talk? Is it all the things you wish you could do or the influence you wish you had in your circle of ministry?
Dear friend, I hope you know that this is an invitation to you also! Come to Jesus! He would be so pleased to have your attention and company. What are those heavy things you are carrying?
Please take some time today to say “Yes” to the invitation of Christ! May your soul be rested, may your heart be light, and may your walk be easy!
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