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Come. Learn. Rest.

We seek rest. Physical rest, yes, but it’s the inner rest we especially crave. Rest--to silence our pricks of guilt, our trickles of fear, and the relentless sense that we are not enough. The world’s values wreak havoc on our souls, but Christ extends His gracious, generous offer of His way—a way of rest.

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 KJV

Meditating on this passage has encouraged me to abandon my selfish thoughts with their heavy burdens and expectations to then fixate on God’s thoughts of delight and comfort. What follows are some of my reflections on this passage, phrase by phrase. Perhaps you can find a quiet place, carve out a few moments, and allow this passage to minister to your soul.

“Come unto Me”

Stop your running. Your self-will. Your pretending. When you come, you are saying to God, “I need You. Going my way and thinking my thoughts is not giving me Life. I come to You by faith.”

“Come unto Me”

Where am I?

I am everywhere ... that love abounds, grace flows freely, and humility sweetly blossoms.

"All ye that labor and are heavy laden"

Everybody: the older man mired in deceit, delusions, and disgust the young child seeking peace while her home is filled with strife the 40-something female embittered by broken promises and barbs of rejection YOU, wherever you are, whatever condition you are in.

"All ye that labor and are heavy laden"

You toil and work for an ounce of relief and rest, but find none. You work harder, smarter, longer but are further behind than ever. This toil, these burdens are not you—they don’t need to define you. You can walk away.

“and I will give you rest.”

Yes, give you. Let the wonder and awe encircle your imagination like tendrils of a vine.

Abundantly, without reserve, with open arms. I give you for what you have been laboring under a heavy load I freely, lavishly bestow my blessings.

“and I will give you rest.”

Become like a little child climb in your loving Father’s arms. Storms rage outside, but Father’s house is sturdy, safe, warm. Protected and encircled by the everlasting arms, you breathe deeply. Exhale your worries, doubts, fears. Relax. Submit. Rest.

“Take my yoke upon you”

It’s ok. When you take my yoke, the one you constructed will fall away. Take it gratefully, joyfully, for it will prove to be your greatest source of comfort and delight.

“and learn of me;”

I am wisdom. I am all-knowing. I am kind and gentle. Learn my ways. Live my ways. The world’s ways are a thief. They only seek to steal your time, affections, relationships, and joy. In the end, they steal your life and destroy you.

“for I am meek and lowly in heart:”

Creator. Sustainer. Ruler. Lord of Lords and King of Kings, yet I am meek, humble, approachable.

“and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

As a hid treasure, as a precious jewel, truth is there for the taking. Apply it to life, feasted on it, cherish it.

“and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

A peace so deep it transcends the daily clutter of life, sinks into the innermost part of your being. When the mind, will, and emotions are anchored to the bedrock of God’s truth (God loves me, God is enough, God can be trusted, and so on), tranquility flows.

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

The Greek word translated as “easy” conveys the three-fold idea of useful, good, and kindly.

My ways are paths of freedom, joy, and light. Come. Learn. Rest.

Prayer of response: Jesus, thank you for your compassion. Thank you that you are willing to see my great need, willing to open your arms, to accept me in all my messiness, and love me so much you want to see my self-made burden removed. Something must replace my burden, so you gently set your yoke on me—one that is useful, kind, and good.

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