I wrote this poem, in 2016, while I was a Prison Chaplain to encourage the female prisoners to ‘Learn about God’s love and forgiveness for them and find rest and peace in Jesus.’ It is based on Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all 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 comfortable, and My burden is light.” I learnt these verses at a young age, but I never understood the meaning. How wonderful it was to learn the context of these verses. Beverley Joy
In the garden on the 7th day
The creator and his creation
Rested in peace together
In their blessed relationship.
But sin destroyed their rest with God
When they turned their back and walked away
“We don’t need you. We know what to do.”
Then they hid from God in fear.
Deep in their hearts, they were restless
They missed their relationship
Their choice stole it from all of us
Down throughout the ages.
Jesus came to earth back in history
To restore our rest with Him
To reconcile and reunite
Creator with Creation.
Jesus said while here on earth
“Come to Me” all who are
Burdened by your selfish lives
Doing what is good in your own eyes.
He still invites us “Come to Me
Rest with Me, learn of Me”
I died in your place, I paid the price
To restore your rest, joy and peace.”
We’re saved from our selfishness
From our weaknesses
From our foolishness
From God’s punishment.
“All who are weary and heavy-burdened”
Weighed down by religious rules
And salvation, based on what we do
How good we are, how busy serving others.
“All who are weary and heavy-burdened”
Weighed down by guilt and shame
Regretful mistakes we’ve made
Our private thoughts, breaking the law.
Jesus says “I will give you rest”
From working for salvation
Relief from guilt and shame
From bad habits and behaviour.
All who groan from the burden of sin
The guilt and power it holds over them
Bad memories that flash through our daydreams
We are invited to rest in Him.
Those that suffer from the consequence
Those ashamed of their wrongdoing
Those that are sickened by the world’s sin
Come, receive God’s pardon and peace.
“Take My yoke upon you”
Take off the heavy yoke of sin
Replace it with Christ’s yoke of ease
And rest in God’s love and peace.
A yoke of obedience that Jesus himself
Bore while he lived among us
Heavy with pain even to death
To free us from our yoke of regret.
“Learn from Me” invites Jesus
Come, be a scholar of the King
Gain the knowledge that He gives
Through His Word and history.
We learn of Christ to become like Him
Reflecting His perfect character
He is both the teacher and the lesson
The Guide and The Way.
“For I am gentle and humble in heart”
Christ has compassion for new students
Many teachers are hot and hasty
Discouraging those who are dull and slow.
But Christ is gentle and patient
And can open our understanding
He lowered Himself from His kingly state
To teach poor scholars and the novice.
Jesus stoops to help the lowest learner
As He did when here on earth
How encouraging and timely this is for us
To learn from such a Teacher as this.
“And you will find rest for your souls”
Sit at His feet and hear His words
While time is on our side
Like Mary did in Luke ten.
This rest is found in the knowledge and love
Of God and our Lord Jesus Christ
And there is abundant satisfaction
And peace beyond our understanding.
“For My yoke is easy,” Jesus says
But how can this be for a yoke on a beast
Is heavy, painful and burdensome?
The farmer yokes the young and unlearned
With a beast mature and experienced
To learn how to walk in unison
And produce, together, the desired outcome.
Christ’s yoke is lined with love
Such is the nature of His commands
It may feel awkward and strange at first
Until we walk in sync with Him.
“And My burden is light” He also says
For He suffered and died for us on the cross
This burdensome yoke of agony and grief
It was His, not ours to bear.
God calls you to be yoked with Christ
Be as one and walk with Him
Be reconciled and reunited
Creation with Creator.
Beverley Joy © 2016 of Simply Story Poetry
You can listen to all my poems on several podcast platforms here
Matthew 11:28-30 The Zondervan NASB Study Bible 1999 Zondervan U.S.A.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible 1960 Marshall, Morgan & Scot