Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rest for the Soul

Chuckle: Did you hear about the elderly woman who talked herself out of a speeding ticket by telling the young officer that she had to get there before she forgot where she was going?
Quote: "Every house where love abides And friendship is a guest, Is surely home, and home, sweet home For there the heart can rest." --Henry van Dyke

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light" (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT).
When I read these words from the lips of our Lord Himself, a deep sense of peace, rest, relaxation, and refreshment comes over me. In Jesus' words, one can sense His love, compassion, concern, and desire to give each of us an abundant life of contentment and satisfaction in Him. Jesus knows about every one of your cares, burdens, anxieties, and hurts, and He gently and lovingly asks you to come to Him and have those burdens lifted and the cares of this life made much easier to bear.
A yoke is a heavy wooden harness that fits over the shoulders of an ox or oxen. It is attached to a piece of equipment (plow, cart, wagon, etc.) the oxen are to pull. Using this metaphor, Jesus describes the heavy burdens that may be weighing you down and making your life difficult to endure. You may be carrying burdens of sin, excessive demands on your life, unfair treatment, or weariness in your search for rest in God. Jesus can and will free you from all these burdens.
The tiredness and weariness that comes from hard physical labor can usually be remedied with some sleep and rest. But there is another kind of weariness that is not so easily overcome; that is the emotional exhaustion resulting from prolonged bearing of burdens and successive crises in our lives. You may be caring for an aging parent, ailing spouse, or a sick child. You may feel as if the burdens are just too much to bear. You need rest for both your body and your soul, and the latter can only be found in Jesus Christ. Only He can provide the kind of rest you need.
The rest that Jesus promises is love, healing, and peace with God, not the end of all labor. A close relationship and fellowship with our Lord changes meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity and purpose. He will rest and refresh you continually as you serve Him. I am reminded of the passage in Isaiah 40:29-31 NLT: "He (God) gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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