S23P9 – The abundant life: rest

Mt. 11:28-30
“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.”

If you have ever been to New York City and taken a walk through Times Square in the evening, it can be quite the sensory overload. There are so many lights and sounds and smells and people. For those of us who are not accustomed to that pace of life, it can be exhausting just to be in that environment. Sometimes the troubles of life can cause us to have the same response. Sometimes we are dealing with so much coming from so many directions that the soul becomes disquieted and distracted. It cannot focus, and it cannot rest. During those times, we must cry out to the Lord to give us what his word says is available to us, which is his rest.

When Jesus talks to us about the difficulties of life and the hardships we must endure, He is not just speaking of things He has heard or read. He is speaking from experience. He knows what we will endure because He endured the same things as a man walking through this flawed and evil world. When He tells us that He can provide rest for our souls, He knows the rest our souls need because He knows the turmoil our souls endure in this life. This is a promise that comes from a place of experience and true knowledge. And the only reason why this rest is available to us is that it is necessary. The same way our bodies cannot go and go without rest, our souls cannot go and go without rest. If we want our souls to be healthy, we must allow them to rest and be refreshed and renewed. Fortunately for us, our Savior knows this and can provide exactly what we need.

Do not let a troubled soul keep you up at night. Give your troubles to the Lord, unburden your soul and take on the yoke of Christ. It is easy, and it is light. The rest that you will receive is necessary for the road ahead. And let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that this is a one-time event. We must regularly give our burdens to the Lord and accept his rest for our souls. Father, make us people who desire to share our burdens with You for the sake of renewing our souls and getting the rest that we need to continue running this race for You.