When I read the Bible, I search for what it is saying to me. I feel that every chapter has something in it that applies to me as wife and mother. It is not just an ancient book of stories. It’s so much more. Every day I seek for patience and peace from my heavenly Father to strengthen me.
In Matthew 11 John the Baptist is searching for more spiritual insight about Jesus. He is in prison, and yet his heart is still full of the Savior of the World. He had diligently followed the path that God had planned for him and then he was arrested. Jesus continues His ministry and when John’s followers find Him, Jesus praises John for the work he did in preparing the way for Him. John was different from what the people expected. He wore no fine clothes, he was just John. I wonder how long it took for him to realize the importance of his work? Did he ever feel adequate for it? No, he never did. But what he did was not unimportant to God. We should not feel that what we do for God is unimportant. Paul writes, “I pleaded with the Lord . . . And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Cor. 12:8,9).
I often sing at schools, churches, and women’s retreats and give my personal testimony. I’ve been singing about Jesus since I was very young. Feeling inadequate is always present. Who would be interested in my testimony? Then I have to remind myself that this is what God wants me to do. We are all called to present the story of how Jesus has worked in our lives. It’s the way we interact with others and how we represent Him in our homes and in the community where we live, that’s important.
Jesus says to us today, “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Place my yoke on your shoulders, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble. Then you will find rest for yourselves because my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Life at times can be hard. The amazing thing is that Jesus already carried the burden of sin. He carried it on His back full of blood, in His nail pierced hands, in His side, and then by His broken heart on Calvary.
As I read Matthew 11, I am reminded of two very important thoughts: 1. Even in the darkest moments of our life we seek to know more about Jesus for He is the center of our hearts. 2. Jesus has promised to provide us with peace and rest when we place our trust in Him. As this wonderful hymn states, “Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
Joey Norwood Tolbert
M.A. in Religious Studies