Psalm 62. Some people might find more rested through this time, but others might be feeling added pressures from extra workloads and increased stress from a constantly changing lifestyle. Rest for a lot of people sounds like a luxury right now. Have you through about rest for your own soul, which is at the very core of who you are?
Are you able to echo David’s statement from the Psalm Which talks about rest in God and rest for our souls?
St Augustine echoes this when he says “O Lord, you have formed us for yourself, and our souls are restless, until they find their rest in you”.
David tells himself what he needs to do, “that’s where hope is found”. Where else in the Bible does it talk about finding rest for your soul?
The prophet Jeremiah spoke God’s word into serious and difficult situations as he talked about the impending destruction of Jerusalem
Finding rest for your souls is a choice you make for yourself. The people in Jeremiah’s day chose not to walk that way and didn’t find the rest they needed.
In Matthew 11:25-30 Jesus gave the people an invitation to rest. His words might be familiar to some but if we want to find the true meaning of rest, as spoken by St Augustine, this is only found in Jesus and his rest for our souls.
First Jesus focuses his prayer upwards thanking God His Father.
The reference to infants is about having faith like a child. He thanks His Father for revealing the important things to those who come before him with this type of faith.
If anyone is to know the father, they need to know Jesus – it’s all about Jesus. The son presents the most amazing offer ever, “Come, draw near”.
It’s to come to Him: it’s personal, it isn’t a place or institution, it’s for all people.
Most who heard him originally were weighed down already, especially those who were struggling under the strict religious laws of the day. But Jesus offered them a refreshing alternative when he said “come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest”.
The causes of their weariness are very different from the causes of our weariness and pressures of our modern day expectations, but the core is still the same.
Did you notice that this rest is something he gives? We don’t deserve it and we can’t earn it – it’s a gift of grace.
Two things we have to do: we have to take and we have to learn.
Jesus was taking to a Jewish community and a yolk is something they would have seen everyday. Typically an untrained ox is yolked with an older ox to work with and learn what to do. This fits in with this invitation to learn, submitting to someone who wants to teach you. Jesus says He is humble and gentle. It doesn’t mean life with Jesus is easy but if you commit to Jesus, you will be forever connected – yoked – to Him. This is where our rest comes from.
“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. 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. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)
If you feel tired, distracted or burned out, this invitation is for you. Come, and rest you soul.