“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
Photo credit: Rachel McLaughlin
Who doesn’t love to sleep? Lazy Saturday morning sleep-ins, Sunday afternoon naps, snooze buttons, and occasional early bedtimes… We all love it, and we all need it.
We live and compete in a world fueled by espresso and Red Bull. We are connected 24/7 with devices leaving permanent indentations in our hands, outlines in our jean pockets, and necks and wrists requiring medical expertise for realignment.
No wonder our bleary-eyed neighbors and friends commonly answer “busy” and “tired” in response to our query on their well-being. It used to be that parents of infants were most frequently associated with being sleep-deprived, but now it seems that no age range is immune.
So, yes, sleep is important, and we all need it, but what about REST?
Is there a difference between sleep and rest?
You can sleep without experiencing rest, and you can rest without experiencing sleep. How about that?
Sleep without rest is miserable. You know what I’m talking about, right? Tossing and turning, unable to shut off your mind. We tend to borrow tomorrow’s issues to mull over during the nighttime hours, when we all know good and well they will be there in the morning when we wake up.
Alternatively, rest with or without sleep is refreshing.
Sleep indicates a physical state, but the rest that I’m talking about involves the mind.
In the verses noted at the top, Jesus calls all who are weary and burdened to come to Him, and He will give us rest. Then He says to put on His yoke and learn from Him.
Modern machinery has replaced work animals in a lot of settings, but we live in a community with a large Amish population, and it is not uncommon to see large work horses yoked together plowing a field or hauling a farm trailer. Often to train a younger inexperienced animal, the animal is yoked together with an experienced animal which will carry more of the work load and train the younger one.
Jesus invites us into that relationship with Him. Imagine being linked so closely to our Jesus that we can sense a change in pace or direction afforded by such close communion.
Lastly, He promises that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.
So those burdens that are weighing you down… Do they feel light? Or do you feel like the weight of the world rests squarely on your shoulders?
There’s an app (yoke) for that! You are invited to rest in the arms of the One who holds the answers to all of your struggles. Let Him carry them for you. He will renew your strength. He will empower you. He fights for you!
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.