We are a society that has become weary for lack of rest. We can relate to the psalmist who says, “I am weary with my sighing” (Ps 6:6). Weary can mean faint, having nothing more to give, ready to collapse. Do these words describe you? Are you weary emotionally, physically or spiritually?
Too often our “to do” lists are longer than the hours in our day. If you are like me, much of the time, I create my own stress. I say “yes” when I should say “no” to a task or request. I fail to take time to pause and just be in the Lord’s presence; instead I fill my days and hours and the result is exhausting. Many times I create stress by taking on tomorrow’s worries today. I let my mind wander and worry. But God created rest. God desires we find rest.
Matthew 11:28-30 speaks to us about learning to find rest in the midst of our stress:
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.
Come – deute – an imperative — come hither! come here! come! come now! —from a root word meaning urging and calling, here! come!
Rest – anapauo – to cause or permit one to cease from movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength; to give rest, to refresh; to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation, an intermission.
Jesus beckons us to come to him to find rest. I love how the original word for “come” is so emphatic. It’s like he is saying, NOW! Not later, not if you feel like it, not when you’ve exhausted all other possibilities, but NOW! The rest He desires to give us is a pause to recover our strength, a quiet and calming of our souls. The great thing about learning to rest in Christ is that it can be done in the midst of whatever we have going on in our day.