“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’” – Matthew 11:28 (NLT)
As with a lot of Christian teaching, some of these statements loose their impact as they are overused. Over time, Scriptures like these can become dull. I want to avoid that. Hopefully this post will provide a fresh take on what it means to rest.
Although overused, this verse is one of the most comforting in all of Scripture. Christ gives us the opportunity to rest. Our world is busy, and rightfully so. It is noble to be driven to accomplish goals and to gather achievements but there are times when we have to simply rest.
Note that Christ is inviting, but also instructing us to rest. In fact, the word “come” in the Greek was followed by an imperative. In other words, Christ is trying to instruct you in a behavior that he knows is best for you.
So, now that we understand the presentation of Christ’s words, how do we put it into practice?
First, we have to make a conscious effort to allow Christ to stow our minds. Some people aren’t over thinkers (God bless you!), but regardless, we all have a propensity to get worked up and worried over any number of variables. Furthermore, sometimes we are busy finding solutions for problems, analyzing relationships, planning, or any number of mentally taxing activities. Therefore, our minds must be submitted to hearing the Lord and giving him some time to speak to us. Obviously, the best way to do this is in devotional time, when we “come to Him,” so to speak.
Second, rest is granted when we give him our “heavy burdens.” Prayer is indeed therapeutic. It allows us to process our problems while using the wisdom that comes from heaven via the Holy Spirit. Prayer gives a new perspective. It provides clarity of thought. It allows for meditation upon God’s precepts, his promises, and his provision. Seeing things from His point of view reminds us Who holds it all together, allowing us to relax when we realize we don’t have to control our worlds.
Last, receive His rest. Submitting control can be hard. It’s a challenge to trust someone else with your life. It only makes sense that we want to call the shots because no one cares more than we do – or at least we think that. God has our best interest in mind, and often times, we aren’t even thinking for our long term best. Learning to submit and be in His presence through quiet time will grant you that rejuvenation you need.
To review, spend some time in God’s Word and prayer, quiet your heart, submit your problems and concerns to His care, and trust him with the results.
God bless, and have a great Tuesday.
Photograph taken by Patrycja Tomaszczyk