“Come to me all you who are weary and 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.”
Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Mmmm. I like that. There is something in Jesus’ voice that draws me, a voice so perceptive, so intuitive and … forgiving. I like that. He doesn’t ask what I’ve been up to or where I’ve been, that has made me so tired and burdened. Or how I got in this predicament in the first place. I can almost feel his outstretched hand. Gentle… open…ready. “Come”, He says. He really doesn’t need to plead too long with me. I am already there at his feet – the willing recipient – arms wide open. Lay it on me, Jesus.
Ah! A yoke. That’s not really what I had in mind. Sounds heavy. Sort of antithetical, don’t you think? But still there is the hand, the voice that draws me, “learn from me”. He assures me it will be easy and light, but my sideways, skeptical glance at him, reveals my doubt. “Come… (he might be pleading now, just a little bit, not for his sake, but for mine) learn from me, and I will restore your soul.” I might be willing to walk along side you, Jesus, for that.
I am learning something about Sabbath in tiny little beginner level bites. Sabbath is not a time of restriction, but of abundance. It is not a time of discarding responsibilities, but reestablishing proper ones. It is not haphazard or unfocused. It is intentional – a time to come to Jesus. Maybe for a day, maybe for a moment. It might be a time to sit at his feet, or it might be a time to walk with him, to learn his ways, to enjoy his company, to feel his breath. I like that. I might be willing to walk along side you for that, Jesus.
Maybe that is where our rest comes. Just being in his presence. That’s what God said to Moses, anyway. In Exodus 33:14, there is the off chance that Moses is going to have to lead the people by himself – and the thought of such a labor has him backing out. He’s done with this stint God has called him to. But God says to him, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Hmmm. God didn’t really let him off the hook – Moses is still on the job, but God will go with him and give him rest. Somehow, in his presence, we can do that which we think we cannot and find the rest we need.
There are a lot of things we think we cannot do. There are a lot of things we simply don’t want to do. We are stressed out, worried and afraid, and just so tired of carrying the whole weight in our mind. Some days we want to just collapse and say I can’t do this anymore. That’s when we hear the voice – the gentle, alluring call of Someone who says – let me carry that for you for a while. Just come and walk by my side. We will do this together, and I will give you the rest you need.
Ok, Lord. I can do that. One day, one step, one moment at a time.
“My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from him.” Psalm 62:1