Day Eight: The Promise of 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

Rest.

Rest.

Rest.

Maybe if I keep repeating this promise from God then I will actually do it.

If you are a parent, then I guarantee that you need the reminder of God’s promise to rest.  My life is super busy with being a wife and a mother to two children, working full-time, attending soccer practices and games, church activities, and making sure my kids do well in school.  I work hard to keep my head above the water and not drown in the myriad activities that our family is involved. The word rest really isn’t in my vocabulary. But as a Christian, I need to make it be…otherwise I am letting the demands of this life control me, which is the exact opposite of what Jesus calls us to do.

I want to break down this passage from Matthew for you.  I really think what it says about resting is so important to our lives as followers of Christ.

Come to Me

Look at the first few words of this Scripture…Come to me.  This is an invitation from Jesus to come to Him.  He is inviting us to stand with Him.  He is inviting us to let go of the cares of this world and walk with Him.  He is inviting us to put Him first.

He does not say, “Get over here now or else!”, or “You better do this”.  No, this is simply an invitation to come to Him.  No matter what we look like, who we are, what kind of money we have, or what kind of job we hold, this invitation is for everyone.  Jesus wants us to come to Him.  And coming to Him means we have to let go of holding hands with the world…dropping our grip on the things which we think are so important.  Believe me, nothing is more important that accepting that invitation to come to Him.

Weary and Burdened

I am sure there are things going on in your life which are causing you to feel weary and heavily burdened:  financial problems, job issues, marriage troubles, children crises, drug or alcohol addictions, depression, fear, anxiety, illness and so much more.  And all these things keep piling up on you, covering your whole body and not allowing you an opportunity to even breathe.  These burdens are stressful. They paralyze you and keep you from even standing up to walk toward God.  Your weariness has gotten the best of you and you can’t seem to even remember that God promises us a way to let go.

Rest

You are so tired.  So weary.  So burdened.

But then in the far corners of your life, you seem to finally recognize the voice of Jesus that says, “I will give you rest.”  And what you really want to do in that moment is scream and shout for joy.  You remember the promise from God that He will give you rest.  He invites us to take His yoke as it is easy and light.

Now, when you think about the word “yoke”, you don’t exactly think of this as a good thing.  A yoke is something that is attached to the neck of animals to help them do work.  The world we live in has become like a yoke around our necks.  It enslaves us to sin.  It keeps us busy, doing the opposite of resting, which causes us to become weary and burdened.

But Jesus offers us His yoke, a yoke that is light and easy.  When we accept His yoke, we immediately feel a weight lifted off of us.  It’s like we are free and can actually breathe easier.  When we choose to rest in Him, we are accepting His invitation.  We are deciding that the weight of the demands of this world are not worthy of being carried.  We throw them off and decide to “lie down in green pastures“, “walk with Him beside still waters”, and allow Him to “restore our souls” (Psalm 23).

What is keeping you tied to this world?  Why not let go and find rest for your soul in the arms of Jesus?  Remember that sweet voice of Jesus that says, “I will give you rest.”

Prayer:  Everlasting Father, what a joy to know that you promise to give us rest.  Forgive us when we allow the worries and cares of this world to overwhelm us and cause us to forget about You.  When we become burdened, help us to remember Your promise to give us rest.  May we stand firmly on this promise, knowing that all who accept your invitation will find the rest that you provide.
Journal
  1.  Write down the things which are keeping you burdened.  Ask God to forgive you and help you let go of these things which are weighing you down.
  2. Read Psalm 23.  Draw a picture of verses 1-2.
  3. What can you do this week to rest in Him?

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