There are days when it seems there is just too much to be done. We get busy with family, work, ministry, unexpected challenges, illnesses, inconvenient traffic and so on. Life can really make you weary and burdened. Where can we go for rest?! I'll admit I sometimes go to Netflix and try to escape my burdens. But the thing is, they are still there and no progress has been made. It's a really busy season in life right now. We are still in transition with moving and closing on our new home, school is starting up for the girls and my new ministry with InterVarsity in Milwaukee is filled with all kinds of new and varied tasks, people to meet and of course funds to raise. I get weary and burdened.
Can anyone relate? I'll bet it's an unanimous, Yes! Our culture strives for busyness and even counts it as a virtue. Ever hear or say, "How are you doing?" Response, "I'm pretty busy." "Yes, me too." That's deep relationship there folks. Something I'm trying to be conscious of in regards to how I respond.
Jesus understood the weariness and burdens of the people as he walked among them in his days on earth. He would preach to various cities calling them to repent and believe the good news of the Kingdom. Yet many important, seemingly intelligent people were not listening. Jesus publicly denounced them and then gave praise to His Father.
Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Busy people don't have time to "come to Jesus," but this is a matter of first importance! Many of our burdens come from taking our eyes and thoughts off of Jesus. We must come to him! He is giving the invitation, will we accept? Or will we just keep on our merry way doing all kinds of work without Him? He will give us rest. Who wouldn't enjoy receiving this rest that Jesus invites us into. (More on this in Hebrews 4). His invitation to "come and rest" also includes an invitation to "take my yoke upon you and learn from me." What is a yoke? If you were a farmer you'd know this term. Picture two oxen braced together pulling a plow. It's a heavy burden pulling all of that weight. And that is one relation to this term yoke that Jesus is using. Another interpretation is that of the yoke of teaching from the Pharisee's and Sadducee's - regarding the Mosaic Law and a few other items of their invention added on for good measure. Any of these give us a picture that the people were burdened and weary. They were trying to follow the laws from their leaders, the most intelligent and busy people, highly respected. Yet, they were so tired and hopeless because they just could not get it right and perfect.
Jesus, although He is God and who has shown through miracles, His power - He is gentle and humble in heart. Wouldn't you like to learn from a teacher like that? I sure would. And that has been my prayer over this summer of transition and heading into a very busy season of ministry, that "I would learn from Jesus and find my rest in Him."
My prayer for you is the same, that you would accept Jesus' invitation, come to Him, learn from Him, trust Him and find rest for your souls.
What ways do you find rest for your souls in Jesus? Share some examples so we can all learn from each other.
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