For our bodies, God provides daily sleep and a day off each week. Rhythms of grace implanted into the fabric of the created order. But it is not only our bodies that have limits and need rest. So too do our souls. We get tired in many other ways. It may be that we feel overloaded in our mind, our spirit or our emotions. We need release from our stress, fear, bitterness, guilt and anxiety.
Jesus promises us another rhythm of grace, not for our bodies, but for our souls. He was aware that we are often restless and tired in ways other than physical.
Where do you turn when you are exhausted, depleted or overburdened? Despite the promise of Jesus, he is not always our first choice. Some of us turn to food or television and some may have a drink or pop a pill. There are many forms of escape, but Jesus encourages us to come to him.
This is an important promise of support. We live in a fast paced society that leave many of us breathless and exhausted. Charles Swindoll suggests that, “The church today looks more like a herd of cattle on a stampede, then a flock of God, resting by still waters.”
Jesus didn’t promise a life free from struggle, pain and fear. He didn’t say following him would be easy. But he did promise to always be with us no matter what we go through. Jesus invites us to come to him as he walks the journey of our lives with us. He promises real rest.
As Mike Yaconelli suggested, “If we want to stay on the road of faith, we have to hit the brakes, pull over to a rest area, and stop. Christianity is not about inviting Jesus to speed through life with us; it’s about noticing Jesus sitting at the rest stop.”
May God grant us the grace to accept his invitation to come to him, and learn to live “freely and lightly”.
Stephen L Baxter