Jesus himself offered, “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). Though I was only 16, I was weary and burdened in a way I hadn’t even realized with trying to figure out life and maintain my own security. Though a weight had been placed upon my shoulders when I embraced this new life, it felt like it weighed nothing compared to what had been there.
As I began to listen to my pastor and others with a new interest and seemingly a new ability to understand, it was as if life-giving nutrients were being intravenously fed into a seriously undernourished and anemic body. I could not get enough. I began to experience a new joy and excitement about life, a new meaning to life, that I didn’t recall ever having before.
I remember not long after my conversion that my family took a trip out west and made a stop in an old neighborhood where I spent the majority of my first years in life. As I stood outside our old house on the corner and let my mind wander over the memories of my time there, a wave of despair rolled over me. Though my life had been good, I thought, I realized that it had been meaningless up until now.
Jesus gave my life its intended meaning. He was teaching me what I needed to know about the rest my soul needed. He was indeed a humble teacher, not pushing, not demanding, but gently leading me in the direction I had needed to go. What a precious yoke it is!