"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Is anyone else tired? I don’t mean physically tired. I mean weighed down, overwhelmed, burdened, weary. There is so much in life and in the world today to be burdened by. Carrying heavy burdens for too long can often lead to anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. If Jesus promises to give us rest for our souls, why do we feel so weary?
We live in a performance driven culture. Great results are demanded of us at work. We are judged if our kids aren’t perfect little angels, or our house isn’t clean enough or big enough. We are expected to look a certain way – not too heavy but not too thin. We often find ourselves measuring our worth and value based on our performance. But God doesn’t care how hard we work or if we fail or succeed. He just wants to be with us. We don’t need to change first. He wants us to come exactly as we are. And when we get away with him, he gives us rest.
The Message version puts it like this:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30
If we will just stay close to him and spend time with him, God promises us so many wonderful things:
He will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31)
You will bear much fruit (John 15:1-5)
He will draw near to you (James 4:8)
He will uphold you (Psalm 63:6-8)
He will be your hiding place (Psalm 32:6-8)
You will receive mercy and grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16)
He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Vacations are a wonderful way to rest and reset. But even the best vacations don’t provide true rest. And the rest they provide is only temporary. The only way to be free from our burdens and to receive restoration of our souls is to get away with the only one who can give us what we long for.
Dear Lord, we are so weary right now! We are so tired of trying and striving. This world seems to be spiraling out of control and we feel out of control. Help us remember that you’ve got this. You are on the throne and nothing is outside of your hands. Thank you Jesus that you want us to come to you just as we are and you are not concerned with our performance. How refreshing to know that you just want to be with us. Remind us each day of your love and provide us with opportunities to just rest in your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.