Rest for the Weary

Life can be quite tiresome. The tragic news headlines that bombard us each day can be draining. Witnessing the moral decline of our culture can wear on us. Duties at work can be a grind. Then there are the never-ending household chores that are always demanding to be done. Also consider the family responsibilities we have to shoulder. Add to that mix our involvement in the community and the local church and it’s no wonder we always feel tired! It is quite common for people to feel overwhelmed with burdens that make us extremely tired.

To those who are experiencing such weariness, these words from Jesus are quite welcome—“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).

Jesus knows full well how tiresome life can be, so he invites us to come to him for some much-needed rest.

It starts with taking his yoke. Farmers in those days often worked with a team of oxen yoked together. Taking on the yoke of Jesus means that we agree to pull in the same direction he is going. He keeps us plowing on the straight and narrow way. Pulling in his yoke, Jesus provides the strength we need to get the job done.

Jesus also says that we must learn from him. As we understand more about his ways–his gentleness and humility–we find rest for our souls.

Jesus refutes the mistaken idea that some people have that the burden of living for him is too heavy. He insists that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. When we try life without Jesus is when we get tired and weighed down with life’s burdens. Only by completely trusting him can we find true and lasting rest.

We must also note that the rest that Jesus offers is not one of idleness. We don’t find rest by doing nothing (although the Bible does insist that we take regular breaks from normal activities). We find rest in Jesus by working alongside him. We trust him to set the agenda and to provide the power.

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