Came across this little portion of Scripture as I was having some time alone with the Lord this morning and thought it was so good that I want to share it with others today. And this is not just for Christians. When Jesus said these words, He was speaking to a crowd. There always seemed to be crowds around Him. Sure, many of them were devout God-followers. But in a crowd of hundreds, sometimes thousands, I’m sure that there were those who were not following God. Yet, no doubt, His message to them that day resonated in their hearts.
I read the three verses of Matthew 11:28-30 in a few different translations and paraphrases. And I love these two in particular because they seem to grab the heart of Jesus in this passage as He calls out to anyone who will listen…
28 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill–fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 | The Message
Now here’s the same three verses in the other version…
28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” Matthew 11:28-30 | Amplified Bible
I don’t know what has caused you to be weary. I don’t know why you’re worn out or overburdened. I don’t know why you are burned out on religion.
But what I do know is really more WHO I do know… Jesus. He simply wants you to walk with Him and talk with Him. He just wants a relationship with you in which the two of you connect and communicate. He’s willing to show you how to make it through life without carrying the heavy load you’ve been carrying.
Forget about doing for awhile… Focus on being.
Jesus wasn’t just speaking to “those people back then” when He said these words. He knew that you and I would one day read them. And so He spoke them for you… for me. He spoke them to let us know that we don’t have to walk this road of life alone, carrying a backpack full of cares… and concerns… and worries… and fears… and guilt… and fatigue… and failure. Instead, He offers to swap loads with us. He offers to show us how to lighten our load in order to enjoy the journey as we walk with Him.
So, while I realize that you may not have a ton of vacation time to stop what you’re doing daily and just be, perhaps you can find some time each day… in the still of the early morning hours, or on a lunch break, or in the quiet of the late night… when you can just be yourself with Him and let Him give you rest. Not sure where to start? Why not start by simply going back to the these three little verse I copied and pasted above and let them really sink in? Then pause… and listen with your heart as He speaks to you about how He wants to help you today. It doesn’t have to take long, but I’m convinced that if you try it, you’ll find that you want to do it more and more each day.
If you’d be willing to comment on this post and share how you’ve been weary— if not right now in life, at least at some point in the past— so that others will know that they are normal and not alone in this, that would be a pretty big deal. Thanks!