“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30, Common English Bible).”
A few days ago the passage above was part of my daily devotion. Sort of like my post “Bury the Junk” this passage and one thing the author of my devotion said, just won’t leave me alone.
My devotion said, “This verse is an invitation. We can come to Christ as we are, weary and burdened, and He promises to give us rest. What a gift!” (One: A Daily Devotional, Barbour Books: Uhrichsville Ohio, 2015, p. 17).
I don’t know who the person was who wrote this little devotion, but this author is dead on. It is a gift to us. Think on that for a little bit. No matter how tired we happen to be, no matter how worn out, no matter how beat up we feel and no matter how unworthy we might feel, Jesus still invites us to rest in Him.
I also don’t care who you are, we all need rest and we especially need Divine rest. I really don’t see this a physical rest, this is a spiritual rest. But, I do believe we can draw a parallel from the physical body.
When I was in the Navy I went for a week on about one hour of sleep per day. It wasn’t by choice. When we were steaming in a task force, visual communications got busy. If we were by ourselves at sea we didn’t have much to do. If you can’t see other ships at see, visual communications will do no good. But, in this case we were in a task force and my ship was the flag ship. We were very busy and as a result, I was working from lunch to dinner and from midnight to breakfast. But to further complicate matters, if the ship goes to general quarters (battle stations), everyone is working. For about five days, every time I was off work, we went to general quarters. By the end of five days I was seeing things out on the horizon that weren’t really there. I was in a total daze. While I was at breakfast, I broke out in a cold sweat and blacked out. I am told I got up from the table. Took my food tray to the scullery, went to my berthing compartment, undressed and went to bed. I remember none of that. I don’t remember anything until the crew that was at work came down to wake us up for the afternoon watch.
All of that is to say, my physical body went without rest for a significant period of time. The result was, I hit a wall and my body shut down. We may not shut down quite that way when we become spiritually exhausted but the result is much the same. We move in slow motion. We lose interest in many things. we feel just as tired as if it were physical and we feel physically beat up. It is a mental and emotional drain and that leads to a physical drain that matches. In that way, to be spiritually exhausted is even worse than being physically exhausted. I can be happy, I can be joyful even when I am physically wiped out. It is incredibly difficult to do that when we are spiritually drained.
And yet, Jesus says to us, “Come to me.” I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty incredible. And, when I come to Him, I really do find my rest. Thanks be to God.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Grace and Peace,
Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.