Motherhood is hard. Can I get an amen?
While we bear the difficult physical aspects of mothering, our minds and hearts come alongside and accuse us of laziness, insufficiency, and failure. Perhaps that’s one reason Jesus commands us to love our God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind (Matthew 22:37).
We lack joy in motherhood — and enjoyment and peace in our Savior — the moment we step away from the gospel and try to do this “mom thing” on our own. Instead, as we mother, we need to remind ourselves daily of the truth of God’s word, specifically the gospel.
Find True Rest
Jesus graciously and compassionately reminds us time and time again to come to him.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)
It can be easy to hear this offer and suspect that Jesus is only speaking to first-century Pharisees. They were considered wise by worldly standards (Matthew 11:25), and Jesus often rebuked them for their pride and arrogance. But here we see Jesus calling us all to be like children:
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” (Matthew 11:25–26)
It is the Father’s gracious will that we would not only receive salvation but also understand and experience the true rest Jesus offers. We preach this truth to our children, yet we need to be like them to receive and rest in the good news for ourselves.
Come, Weary Daughter
Jesus invites us to come. He is speaking to us directly: You, weary daughter, come to me.
Isn’t it good news that he doesn’t qualify his invitation? He doesn’t ask us to wait until we have peace to come. He doesn’t ask us to come worry-free. No, Jesus lovingly calls us to come with all our cares, all our fears, and all our burdens.
If we are thirsty, we don’t head to the oven to find something to quench our thirst. No, we run to the faucet. We find a water source that will meet our need. Similarly, if we are dead, dry, and weary, we don’t run to a desert land of self-pity and work-harder. No, we run to Jesus who says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37). He invites us to come because he is the only source that will provide true and lasting satisfaction. He refreshes and meets our deepest needs.
He invites you, mom, who labors and are heavy laden. You who have been working hard to be the best, only to realize that your efforts leave you more condemned and doubting than refreshed and encouraged. He invites you who have been trying to earn favor before God based on your performance rather than resting in his finished work for you on the cross. He invites you and me to find perfect and true rest in him.
He invites us to take his yoke and learn from him. A yoke, by definition, is a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull. That wooden, heavy load you are pulling as a mother, Jesus desires to trade places with you. His yoke is easy, and his burden is light. He wants to do the heavy pulling for you. What do you receive in return? Rest for your weary soul.
Pursue Real Rest
It is difficult to enjoy the freedom of salvation, the joy of motherhood, and the gift of children when we are weighted down with burden. We need the transforming work of the Spirit to open our eyes to the truth that Jesus can and will carry our burdens for us.
Today, ask your heavenly Father to prove himself faithful. Ask him to lift the burdens you’ve been carrying. Bring his easy and light yoke home. He is offering it to you as a free gift of his grace.