Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 (NLT)
Just for a moment’s rest. Just a moment to step back from the cares of this life. Sometimes it’s as if all the world’s burdens seem to crash down on your shoulders. People asking more and more from your less and less. Family and household responsibilities pull on you. Church obligations multiply like the proverbial rabbits where members pull on you for various reasons; and pastor asks for increased service. Your day job feels more like a marathon as you navigate through endless assignments, meetings, and projects…
And it never ends. You feel as if you’re dragged about and your personal cup is “running over” with responsibilities. You just want to step back a moment and rest. Not so much go to sleep, but just to be able to just chill and detox all the stuff inside you. Sometimes you got to step back and say “whoa.”
Without a time to rest, to pause, we can easily end up “weary in well doing.” We’ll find ourselves burning out, shutting down, and eventually tuning everything and everyone out-all of which can be quite dangerous. We hear all too often tales of clergy and minister burnout in the Church. Caregiver burnout or illnesses that develop while caring for another. Job stresses a common problem in the workplace. And we have family providers mentally and emotionally checking out on their families when they’re needed the most. All this complicated thanks to our multitasking spirit which pervades modern culture.
To rest is not laziness; on the contrary. Rest gives us the opportunity to recharge our batteries-spiritual, mental and physical. Rest also gives us the opportunity to detox ourselves from the accumulated spiritual “junk” we receive as spiritual beings.
Jesus provided rest for our souls; and we need that rest even more today. We can look to Jesus for rest, where we can unload and unwind. Jesus will also recharge our spirits for the journey ahead. This is not “escapism”as some would contend; it’s tapping into that Divine power that Jesus tapped into. Power that we can rest in-allowing ourselves to be empowered. Rest can be through physical rest, meditation, mindful physical activity, even worship can be a form of this rest.
Then empowered, we can face our responsibilities head on through Christ who strengthens us. For it’s in Christ we have rest for our souls.