In Need of Rest?

Posted: November 15, 2013 in Pastor Posts

Life is so busy. When we are asked how we are doing, what is often our go to response? Mine is, “Good, but really busy.” I came across this amazing verse the other day. It is one I have known for a while but one that I needed to hear again.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, “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.”

Why is that so significant? Well, let me ask you this. Why are we so busy? Jesus told us in Matthew 28:18-20 what our lives are to be about, didn’t He? He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthe name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

That is to become our mission, how we prioritize our lives. The problem is we are so busy. How can my life be about that? How can I add “making disciples” onto everything else I’m doing?

So, did Jesus forget the whole “my burden is light” idea by the time we get to Matthew 28? Or perhaps, does Jesus know that His burden is light, and the burden we put on ourselves is overwhelming. Does Jesus also know that He will be giving us the Holy Spirit to help us as we are on mission?

Because, think about it. Are we the first generation to be busy? Are we the first in history to face overwhelming circumstances? Or, could it be that when we are on mission, when we prioritize our lives rightly, when we rely on the Holy Spirit to empower us for this mission, does life become manageable?

I tend to think that much of our stress is of our own making. Yes, there is a ton outside of our control. We face trials and hardship that are devastating. However, it is also true that we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We have to be the best employee, and so we work far too much overtime. Add to that the desire for stuff or recreation that creates financial stress or even more overtime. We must be the best parents, so we have our kids in 100 different activities when one would do.

So, we come back to Jesus’ words, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Maybe this is the time to reevaluate your life in relation to the mission Jesus has given us. Maybe this is the time to simplify your life to maximize your impact. Maybe this is the time to trade in the business for focus – focusing on what we as Christ-followers are called to be about. Maybe it is time to let go of some control, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and empower you, instead of you leading and trying to empower yourself.

I believe Jesus’ words. He wasn’t just making this up. Therefore, following Christ should lift the burden, not add to it.

Written by Pastor Dave


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