The words first came to echo through my mind in a cathedral in Spain. “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” I wept. There was no other reaction than tears as the reality of my soul weighed heavy on my heart. I’m weary. I’m burdened. I’m not rested. I heard Jesus that day as the words rattled around in my head and in my heart and I knew that this was a lesson not to forget.
I returned home. The email list waiting for me was long. As I made my way through the adverts to the devotionals, the one that caught my eye and resonated with my heart reminded me “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” About a week later, it came again. “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” In silence at church, in the midst of adoration, Jesus whispered to my soul again, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
God’s been writing this message in billboard size letters in my heart and on my mind but I don’t know that I have heard the message. “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
Come – this word of beckoning is repeated often in my day. Learners are called, reminded, given a task to complete. Come. I’m called to come and sit in Jesus presence. To allow the distractions of my day to fall away. Come. To shut out the noise. To anticipate His presence. To bask in glory. To bring my baggage of concerns and worries to Him. To Come.
I often stay away. I don’t want to burden Him with this concern. Instead He calls continuously. He beckons. Come.
Weary – it’s tired, but it’s more than that. It’s the fall asleep on the couch without meaning to. It’s the barely coping with life and it’s responsibilities because the well is dry. There’s nothing left to give.
Sleep is beautiful. A nap can be a very holy experience. This is sometimes the solution for weary. Rest.
Burdened – at times, it has felt like too much. Too much sorrow, too much pain. The weight on my shoulders has had me holding my breath. If somehow I can keep them in the right place, the burden is carried, right? The ache has hurt and been painful. It has been worse when I have tried to carry it alone. It’s been even heavier when I have added weight to the bag thinking that I’m doing the right thing.
As the burden is lifted off the shoulders relax. When the weight is removed there is reprieve. Rest.
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
Rest – Jesus beckons me to come into His presence for the rest that He desires to give me. It’s not a rest of 100 items of a to do list waiting in the back of my mind. It’s a rest of peace. It’s not necessarily a cessation of every activity. It’s a renewing if my mind and heart. Rest. It’s sometimes a nap, an early bedtime, a deeply refreshing sleep. It’s an abiding knowing that all may be falling apart around me and in my experiences but I am not abandoned to some whimsical force playing havoc with me. Rather, I am choosing to put my experiences, heartaches and joys, delights and wounds in Hands that created the world, that knit me together, that know me intimately.
I need to come. I need to abandon my excuses to stay away. I need to leave behind some things I was never meant to carry. I know there is a reprieve for my weariness and my burden if I choose to rest. So I choose to come. I choose to lay down my weariness and my burden and I choose rest. Rest my soul longs for. Rest it craves.
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28