“Come to me, all 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Mt 11:28-30.
The traumas of our past, the business of our present and the hopelessness of the future blends our soul with the poison of the restlessness and anxious tiredness. It’s a deadly poison that gets into our guts and slowly kills us. Too many times I drink that poison. But I’m not alone in that “pub” where that drink is so masterfully tailor-made and served for us. Most people around me drinks that and some even serve that. It’s enough to open Facebook or the news to be faced with constant angst, anxiety and restlessness.
It is very demanding on the soul to live in constant anxiety. It influences everything: our body, our relationships, our thinking, our emotions, our decisions, our communication.
Jesus offers rest for our soul without offering a change in our circumstances. Rest must be available then without changes in the circumstances.
We are invited to find rest. Jesus offers 3 things for our restless souls to find rest:
1. A safe place.
We go home from work to find rest. The home is the place where we all should find rest. It’s only true though if the home is safe. Home is safe when relationships in the home are safe. Feeling safe and secure is the precondition of rest. You can’t rest when you are not secure. A safe place is where we find a safe relationship. We are restless because we don’t find our true home. We don’t find our true home because we don’t find a safe relationship. That’s what Jesus offers first: “come to me“. Jesus invites us to our true home, to our safe place where we have a safe relationship with him. In that relationship we are known, accepted, protected, enjoyed and provided for – all a true home provides for true rest to happen.
2. The right burdens.
Rest will not come from not having anything to do, instead having the right things to do. Rest doesn’t equal being lazy. Jesus says: “take my yoke“. Jesus doesn’t promise to be “burden-less“, but he puts burdens on us that is good for us, made for us and strengthen us. His burden is light because it is HIS burden.
- Are you carrying burdens you should not; burdens Jesus has not given you to carry? What will you tell him why did you do that? Do you think you are more compassionate and loving then Jesus is when you take on burdens you see but are not for you to take on?
- What are the burdens He has for you?
The burden given by him is also resourced by him. That resource is not available for the burdens you chose without him giving it to you. 1Pt 5:7 commands us to cast our burdens, anxieties on him, because he cares for us. So many times I carry burdens I shouldn’t; burdens He has not entrusted me with. The burden of the political future, the burden of other people’s life, the burden of my staff, the burden of the future, the burden of the ministry, the burden of providing, etc.. Doing that we forget whose ministry it is and who has the power to control everything.
Don’t take burdens you see but God has not given you to carry because you are not gonna be able to carry the ones He assigned you to carry.
Create a list of all the burdens that make you weary and tired.
- What burdens on that list is given by Jesus for you to carry?
- What are the ones you shouldn’t carry? With a smile and a joyful heart you should say no to these. Yes, it will hurt other’s feelings and expectations, but will give them an opportunity to go to Jesus with their burden and find rest.
3. A teachable, molding heart.
Finding rest for the soul is also a learning process. “Learn from me” – warns Jesus. Learning happens when students are teachable. It’s important what we learn and from whom we learn. To find rest for our soul we have to learn certain characteristic through following a model. Continuously learning humbleness and gentleness from Jesus will relax our restless soul. An arrogant and prideful person is a controlling person. A controlling person can never find rest because such person pursue security and identity through exercising control. Such control gives him stability. What he so eagerly tries to achieve through control can only be found through giving up control. The harder he tries the further he falls. Jesus offers that security and identity, so we don’t have to prove anything, we can be humble and gentle. Humble and gentle people are the most secure people. They don’t need arrogant control to prove anything. They are trusting in the One who controls everything.
We are secured, safe, protected, loved, known, accepted, enjoyed and provided for by the King!
Find rest my soul in Him!