Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Athletic injuries are just a part of life for an athlete. Preventative measures can often minimise injuries, but I have never met an elite athlete who has not had to overcome at least minor injuries. I have dealt with many injuries over the years, my wife has, and my kids have all had varying degrees of sports injuries.
My youngest son has pursued elite track and field which has required significant training, and not surprisingly accompanying injuries. We have visited many sports therapists over the years, including many extremely knowledgeable ones. One particular sports injury has been a nagging one and responses from therapists to address the injury have ranged from various massage techniques to special icing, and even wearing special athletic clothing or even special shoes. My son’s frustration, and ours, was that they all seemed to be treating the symptoms, with little or no attention to the cause.
We were finally introduced to a new sports therapist who surprisingly spent no time on the injured area, but rather ran him through a litany of tests which evaluated how his body was functioning. What he found is that my son’s body wasn’t firing properly. His core muscles, his gluts, even his feet were not operating as they should. His athletic body usually compensated for this, but with increased work load it was breaking down, and certain muscles became overstrained and injured. So, this therapist focussed on training his body to fire properly, thus preventing the injuries from recurring. He dealt with root causes.
I love this passage of scripture in Matthew 11. Jesus spends considerable time denouncing the many towns where he preached and where the people did not repent. Beginning in verse 25 Jesus makes it clear that true godly wisdom had been hidden from the “wise and learned” of this world, but instead revealed to those who are like “little children” – those with faith. Since no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, then we desperately need to come to the Son so we may also know the Father.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus isn’t interested in giving us a long list of what we should and should not do. Unlike almost all other religions which set standards of performance, with specific measures and duties, our Christ just asks us to come. And when we truly come to him, we are convicted of sin. When we truly come to Jesus, when we come face to face with his love but also his righteousness, we can no longer continue to live in sin (1 John 3:9). We are brought to repentance. And when we repent, we join with Jesus and walk together with his yoke, and we finally find rest for our souls. Finally, we deal with root causes rather than only symptoms.
And a true follower of Christ lives a life of continual repentance. While on this earth, in our fleshly body, we continually battle sin (see Paul’s struggle in Romans 7:15-20), but “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). Come to him!