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 ESV
When my grandfather came from Italy, he became a barber and most of his six children also ended up cutting hair for a living. Of course, dad helped in the shop while he was growing up, but after coming home from the war, he decided that coiffing lady’s hair paid way better than barbering, so he got his license as a hairdresser.
By the time I was a teen-ager Dad had his own shop and he closed on Mondays to clean the store. Some of our best talks revolved around our times sweeping the floor together and cleaning out the hair driers. Dad always loved telling funny things about the business and one of his favorites was that even though he charged to wash their hair, the ladies always made sure to wash it before they came to the shop. They just could not bear the thought of dad finding hair that wasn’t already squeaky clean!
Now you might think that pretty ridiculous, but don’t we sometimes do the same thing with God? He invites us to come to church (Heaven’s beauty shop) with our dirty hair and all. But instead, we decide that we need to get cleaned up at home first, or if we do show up, we just worship halfheartedly because we feel unworthy to really participate.
But the craziest part of all is that, unlike dad’s clientele, we do not even have to pay the bill. Instead, God has chosen to pay in advance at Calvary, for everything that we need. He is not angry when we show up with needs and problems, instead He is delighted to take up our burden of sin and in exchange give us His yoke of grace. Then He gently lifts away the condemnation of guilt and in exchange leaves us a burden of His love that we have the privilege to carry all the way home!