"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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)

Since I learned a few years ago that continual exposure to bright sunlight was, in many instances, a contributing factor to developing cataracts, I have worn a set of clip-on sunglasses. It was an easy transition to make—bright sunlight hurt my eyes, and I did not enjoy squinting. (Squinting can make you look angry.)

The other afternoon as usual, I reached into my shirt pocket, pulled out my sunglasses, stretched them to pop them on my regular glasses, and the sunglasses promptly broke! (Not a lens but the “bridge.”) At first I was just plain startled—something I did hundreds of times without thinking did not work! (That is NOT supposed to happen!) After my bewilderment ended, I examined the situation to determine what was wrong. Though I had carried these clip-ons for years, I quickly concluded the sunglasses were broken beyond repair, put them in a cup holder, and drove away. That pair of sunglasses have been in that cup holder many times—they don’t even know they are broken!

I have spent my life working with people. Through those years, I have heard about many situations. A common thread in different circumstances caught my attention years ago. Often, in differing situations, a person was mystified because he or she encountered consequences as a result of a decision. It was as though the situation was 100% something or someone else’s fault, and the person enduring the “problem” was 100% innocent. “Why me? I am responsible for nothing! None of this is my fault!” There was no awareness that “I am broken and need healing!”

The ability of the resurrected Jesus to heal us inwardly is beyond exaggeration! I regard Jesus’ above statement as being his great invitation. Jesus offered rest to those who were burdened under destructive loads. He did not expect the impossible—he was and is not into “crushing” us. However, he is into our developing his servant heart. It is not the promise that we will have all our physical desires—it is the promise that we will find a restful direction for our lives. We would exchange slavery for commitment!

What is the difference between slavery and commitment? If we are looking for freedom from all responsibility, that will not and can not happen. In slavery, a person is used because he or she is property. In commitment, a person knows the values and the price of being free. In the first, there is exploitation inflicted by another; in the second, there is personal direction and purpose. The first inflicts regardless of our personal motive. The second surrenders because of our personal motive.

Shh—my sunglasses do not know they are broken! Do you know you are broken? Have you allowed Jesus to give you rest?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 3 July 2008

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