Come and Rest
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.”
There’s a settled quiet in the bedroom. An occasional car passes on the main street outside the window. I am waking from a nap, my husband, Eric, asleep on the living room couch: a merciful calm from the wild savagery that is COVID-19.
Though it’s late afternoon, dark is already deepening shadows through the apartment. I feel it in me, the cold and black beyond the curtains.
This soreness runs deep as I try to catch my bearings, breathe. Reprieve, I pray, lifting my heart to God, with no strength left. Mercy. Jesus, Your rest.
COVID-19 came for us swiftly and mercilessly. As we do what we can while waiting to be healthy again, one of the things we crave most is that elusive rest that is part of the healing process. We long for an alleviation of the virus and are reminded of the fragility of our bodies.
Craving rest is natural. We all run around and work ourselves into a frenetic pace that will eventually forcibly slow us down or cause our inner “check engine” light to turn on. Whether it’s physical, emotional or spiritual rest, we know there has to be another way.
Jesus has been imploring us for years to find this way. It’s fairly easy to find if we pause and hear the words He’s whispered for centuries:
“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” (Matthew 11:28-30).
He doesn’t ask us to do anything other than to simply come to Him, however burned out or burdened we are, and spend time in His presence. Who isn’t weary? Who isn’t in need of this rest? Jesus is the right refreshment and nourishment we crave. He’s well aware of our overworked hearts and stretched lifestyles and has a softer, gentler way for us.
“Come to me,” He says (Matthew 11:28). And no one is excluded. What a beautiful, freeing truth, to curl up beside Him when we feel like we can’t move another step and to fall into His strength, love and gentleness for free, grace-fueled rest.
Your weariness may not be like mine, but you’re aching just the same. Come to Him, casting your cares upon Him. When His children cry out, He bends His head to hear.
Rest in Christ will come. And it may come in different ways according to what we need. He made us, after all. He knows how He formed us and knows the precise comfort, strengthening and character development that’s right for us. (Psalm 139:13-14)
I settle into the softness of my pillow, exhale again, adjust to the growing shadows and breathe in His presence, His rest, one moment at a time. “Peace, be still,” He’s told the waves. (Mark 4:39a, NKJV) And there is stillness, even in the midst of sickness, even in the storms of our days, because Christ’s power gives us great rest.
Lord, we can get so overrun with life that it leaves us desperate for rest. We try to handle things on our own, but we need what only You can give: soul rest and hope in You. Please help us to hand over our cares and to trust You are at work in us, lightening these burdens. Your presence is enough, and Your love refreshes our souls. Thank You that You are with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.