Rest For Our Souls

Jesus said, “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.”  Matthew 11: 28 – 29

Can you remember a time when you were a child and you fell or got upset over something, and your parent or another loving adult, called to you and said, “Come to me!” and you ran into their arms and your hurt went away? Don’t we as adults sometimes wish we could do the same – to just run to someone who would lovingly enfold us, comfort us, and take away all our pain and sorrow?

We all have our burdens – no one is immune, and there is no age limit or economic barrier to the burdens of life. They may be  physical, emotional, or spiritual ones, but no matter what they are, they bring deep and personal pain. It’s just simply a reality that life can sometimes be difficult and cause deep despair.

At times, we may try to share our feelings with others and they may offer their encouragement, strength, and love, and it alleviates some of our pain just to know they care. Yet, those feelings remain, and we still feel the weight of their heaviness. Some of us may even be carrying a burden that God never intended for us to carry, but we insist on doing so. And then at other times, we may try to shoulder them alone. We may even convince ourselves that this is what God would have us do, or it is what we deserve. And often these burdens can get so heavy, that we honestly think they are more than we can bear and that we can’t go on. Then where should we turn and what should we do?

Jesus’s words in this verse are some of the most comforting in all of Scripture. For He tells us exactly what He longs for us to do. When we get the most anxious, saddened, or deeply grieved, we should imagine that we are sitting by His feet, with His hand resting on ours, and then with all humility and sincerity, we should tell Him what is on our hearts and express our pain and despair.

Can you even imagine how He would lovingly listen to us, gently assure us of His love, help us with the burdens we carry, and then gently give our weary soul rest. What a gift He longs to give us, and that is for us to rest in Him – to let it all go, to turn it all over to Him, and to find quiet peace in His loving presence.

The truth is we were never meant to do it alone. When God created us, He knew we would need more than ourselves to handle the cares of this world. So He sent His Son, who gave us this loving message of hope: “Come to me. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me. I will give you rest.” 

What a beautiful metaphor of His love and grace to help us carry the burdens of life. Jesus wants to help us with the heaviness of life. He asks us to take His yoke upon ourselves and let Him help us carry the load. God knew we would need a connection to Him, and that we would need direction to be able to move forward. He provides that guidance by saying, “Come to me. Let me take your burdens and give you rest.”   

He loves us, cares for us, and He will meet our needs. And it may be part of His sovereign plan to take the burden completely away from us, or He may lift us up and help us carry the burden through the journey He has planned for us. Either way, we will know that He is with us and our hearts will be lighter.

In order for Him to give us rest, we must come to Him humbly, surrendering our will to His and trusting in His grace. When we can do so, we will experience a freedom we never knew possible and then we can rest in His loving presence.

Prayer  

Dear Lord, we are so thankful that we can come to you when our minds and hearts are weary from worry. If we could only learn to turn our burdens over to you in the beginning instead of trying to carry them alone, we would find the peace that our souls long for. Thank you for your sovereign love and care. Amen

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