Matthew 11:28-31 (The message) “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.”
This is one of my favorite scriptures. It is one of the first passages I remember my mother reading to me as a boy getting ready to move ... again. My father was military and then worked as a Sears store manager for 37 years. Needless to say, we moved quite a bit. What I love most about the scripture is the invitation to “Come to me.” How can the God of the universe present such an invitation to someone like me? This simple power-packed, three-word invite intrigued me as a boy and still does today. I remember every time we would move I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I was excited for the new challenges, new places and faces we would encounter, but I was also nervous about making new friends, making the baseball team and all of the “unknowns” that come with a new place.
I noticed with each move, I became less and less nervous and more and more excited. I believe I read Matthew 11:28-31 so much, it began to take root. I recall not understanding the meaning of the entire scripture, but the “I will give you rest” part I understood completely. “Come to Me for rest” is what rang in my heart and mind, and I diligently sought for this truth to become solidified in my soul.
The Christian community is about to celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas morning. I love this season of excitement and energy, Families making plans to get together, and people desiring to simply be a little kinder to those they come across. I also know many of us just need to rest — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. What I have found over the years is that when I rest spiritually, it fills up all the other areas as well. Are you tired? I know I am. Here is the good news. We will find rest when we accept the invitation from the Lord to bask in his presence. We do not have to be nervous or anxious about anything. When we show up, he provides the rest. Have you accepted his invitation? It would be wonderful to enjoy this Christmas fully rested, having been filled by our very creator! What a thought. Resting in the very presence of God. I challenge you to think about this for the entire month.