The older I get, the more I value sleep. Good sleep habits are important to maintaining good health. Weakened immune systems, diminished brain functioning, and even weight gain can all result from the lack of sleep. Sleep is very important, but rest is even more important. Some use the words sleep and rest synonymously, but they can be very different. Sleep is a physical state, however, it can also affect your spiritual well-being. Rest is a spiritual state, though the lack of peaceful rest can affect your physical well-being.
Jesus promises us rest. In Matthews 11:28-29 Jesus said “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jesus’ audience here were weary of religious rituals that became more and more burdensome and offered no peace. Jesus offered them peace if they would only come to Him. The invitation is still extended to us today. Are you burned out by life’s sorrow? Overwhelmed by the trials and challenges? Spiritually worn down to the place of exhaustion? Come to Jesus.
Coming to Jesus is more than the initial moment when you gave your life to Christ. You can come to Him every day and enjoy the joys of salvation. Resting in Jesus involves releasing your cares into His hands. Let Him handle what you can’t. Trust Him with your troubles. Put your concerns in His hands. Come to Jesus daily in prayer, worship, and through His Word and receive the rest that only He can give.
Jesus invites us to take His yoke. A yoke is a wooden object that links two animals (usually oxen). Most often, an inexperienced ox is yoked with an experienced ox so that the inexperienced one can learn from the experienced one. Jesus is saying, “be yoked with me and you will learn how to do life.” Unlike other yokes we may be burdened with, Jesus’s yoke is light. This is because Jesus does the heavy work as we walk with Him. Life with Christ is not burdensome like some would have you believe. Jesus offers freedom!
Are you feeling the overwhelming pressures of life, the crushing weight of sorrow and pain, or the stress of trying to meet unrealistic expectations? Come to Jesus! Cast your cares on Him and submit to His loving, gentle authority. When you are joined together with Him you can find rest.