We live in a fast-paced world. There's always somewhere else to be, an ever-growing to-do list to complete, and there never seems to be enough hours in the day. There's always the constant wheel running in our minds: I need to do this, this, and this right now. This needs to get done tomorrow. Oh man, I still need to pay bills and make dinners and get all my work done so maybe I can have a moment's peace and then...
The list goes on. Can you relate?
The demands of our lives, much like a tsunami, can threaten to overwhelm and overtake us.
I don't know about you, but when the demands of life get to be too much, I get tired. Words like overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted begin to fill my vocabulary. During these times, it's easy for me to forget that the very One who holds the world in His hands holds me there, too! When I get too busy, I often shift my gaze to the circumstances around me instead of the One who has the answers!
The Father, in His utmost love and grace, caught my attention through His Word. I felt His gentle nudge to open my Bible to read Matthew 11:28-30 - one of my favorite passages in Scripture.
In my weariness, I read the passage, desperate for some new understanding of those well-loved verses.
Matthew 11:28 (CSB) "Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Wow, that would be nice, right? Rest for your soul. That sounds like a vacation! For me, this passage had always felt like a cool drink of water on a miserably hot summer day.
When I read the passage again, the very first phrase stopped me in my tracks.
Come to Me.
I had always read that as an invitation, like an open-armed hug from His heart to mine.
However, in this moment, He was challenging me to see that phrase as a call to action.
Come to Me... Even in your busy schedule. Even with all your to-do lists. Even when you're tired. When you spend time with Me, I will give you rest.
Soft tears sprang to my eyes, grateful for fresh revelation that was healing balm on my tired heart.
Another version (The Message) puts Matthew 11:28-30 like this - “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
He is always inviting us to come to His side, but we find true rest when we choose to spend time with Him!
I love the way The Message says this - "I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it."
Life isn't always slow and unhurried. There's still things to do, places to be, and deadlines to meet. It feels like we're always busy, and always craving rest. Here's the encouragement that the Father reminded me of through this passage: even in the busiest moment, He is there, calling me and inviting me to walk and work with Him.
These verses reminded me of something important. I have two choices: I can follow His pace, or set my own.
When I follow His pace, when I watch how He does it, I am much more peaceful. I find rest in what can feel like chaos. Why? Because I know I can trust His timing, and I know He will give me rest in the midst of the work.
When I set my own pace, exhaustion and worry settle in. I feel the pressure to work, work, work instead of the gentle call of the Father to watch how He does it.
Would you let this passage wash over you, both as a call to action and a gentle invitation?
Be encouraged, friend! He will give you rest in the midst of the work that He has given you to do. Let Him refresh and empower you as you spend time with Him.