As part of American culture, one of the things that’s ingrained in us from the beginning is that if we work hard enough, hope hard enough, and believe, tomorrow will be a better day. It manifests in the various systems that make up our way of life: the school system trains kids for a brighter tomorrow. The criminal justice system rehabilitates men and women in hopes of better conduct. We work to experience more and better things for ourselves and our families. But…what happens when it doesn’t go that way?
What happens when our entire system comes crashing down because the very promise that we made to ourselves, that today would be better than yesterday, doesn’t get fulfilled? What do we do when life is dark and filled with pain. Where do we go when the kingdoms we have built for ourselves become nothing more than wreckage? When fires burn, when floods of tears can’t be held back…when today isn’t better than yesterday?
I only know one place to turn. In the midst of chaos, pain, confusion, and doubt, we turn to the one who is stronger, the one who is bigger, the one who is better. We turn to Jesus. In the person of Jesus, we find the strength to face systems and plans that do indeed crumble, that inevitably crumble. When these hard times come, we need to turn to the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30:
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Jesus’ invitation when we can’t handle things is simple. “Come to me.” Who can come to him? All of us. Anyone weary, hurt, saddened, depressed, out of sorts, or broken. All who struggle under the weight of burdens that they have both chosen and had laid upon them. And when we come to him?
Rest we might not can give ourselves, rest that escapes us in sleepless nights, rest that lets us not be chased by the demons in our heads and hearts anymore.
Then, we take his yoke. A yoke is the instrument that guides oxen as they plow fields, to help keep them in line. Jesus says His yoke is easy, it is light. He trades our heavy burdens for His, and He desires to keep them, even when we want to take them back. Why? Because He is humble, and gentle at heart. His teachings give us the peace and comfort we need to stand strong when life falls apart.
So today, if it’s not better than yesterday, would you let Him take your burdens? Would you carry His yoke forward? Would you allow Him to help you? Would you come to Him?
That’s the only way tomorrow can be better than today.