As a mother of three I have learned the value of rest….and how difficult it can be at times to attain it. All day long little voices call my attention for assistance in every task imaginable. When one little one is rescued the other soon cries out for what in their mind is a grave emergency. Thankfully through time I am seeing my children grow and become more independent in certain tasks. Hallelujah! However there are other things that still demand my energy and attention; bills, groceries, appointments, laundry, cooking….plus all the responsibilities that come from living a pastoral life. It can become a lot if I don’t know where and when to find rest. Not just physical rest, but rest for my soul.
Maybe your schedule doesn’t look like mine. Maybe you have a 9-5 or you work retail and have ever changing hours. Maybe you work on the road or are on call for long periods of time. Or maybe you are on the other side of the world working on research that requires your thinking at all hours of the day. Whatever you are doing in life, whatever your profession, whatever your status, you are human. And you, me, and every other being on this earth needs rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Jesus is calling out to you. All of you reading this that are feeling exhausted, drained and running on low. Tired of surviving the day by just barely meeting the demands of life around you. Yes you, this is not the life God has planned for you.
There is more to this life, there is a greater purpose that you were meant to be a part of. And the enemy knows, if he can get you tired and lose your peace of mind, if he can make you feel the weight vs the blessing you are more likely to walk away and give up. But the hope of God , the refreshing of our spirit that we can find in him, overcomes all of this. That is why Jesus makes it an emphasis to call out to those specifically feeling this way.
He then says “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” A yoke is a wooden beam often used to connect large animals in agriculture when they need to work together. It allows them to go in the same direction and remain focused. Now Jesus is not calling you an animal, he is saying “come to me, connect yourself to me and I will teach you, I will guide you.” How refreshing it is when you are struggling and encounter someone who is experienced and knows just what to do. God has given us a manual (his Word) and a counselor (the Holy Spirit) for this thing called life! We don’t have to figure it all out, all we need to do is answer to his invitation. He will reveal, teach and guide you to a refreshing river of life that will lift your soul. He promised! And what he promises WILL come to pass.
I encourage you, if you are reading this in desperate longing of rest for your soul, turn to Jesus. Everything you will ever need can be found in him. Peace, rest, love, joy, acceptance, strength, forgiveness, another chance….. the list goes on. He is everything you will ever need. Take a moment today and really connect with him. Tell him everything you are feeling and all that’s on your mind. Unload all of that heavy weight you have been carrying on your shoulders, it is not yours to carry any longer. Talk to him. He is listening with open arms, ready to refresh your soul.
He will not fail you.