At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Come to me, all who labor and are 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.” Matthew 11:25-30 (ESV)
This is a passage we, as pastors, are all familiar with. Perhaps a little too familiar, as we may tend to gloss over it and never apply it to ourselves. But read it again…slowly…look closely…let it sink in. In its context, we see these are the Lord’s words. They start as prayer and ends with a command and the passage has four main thoughts:
- The Revelation of Christ (v.25-26)
- The Authority of Christ (v.27)
- The Exclusivity of Christ (v.27)
- The Rest of Christ (v.28-30)
We tend to see the last part as an evangelistic passage, but I think it is much more than that. Yes, it is an invitation to those who do not know Christ to enter into a relationship with Him. But to those of us who are already there, it also has a deep meaning for our lives, especially in this day and time. In this crazy, hectic, post-Covid world, (I pray this is true!) I think we can all put ourselves in the category of those “…who labor and are heavy laden,…” And just what does Christ promise for those who come to him in this sorry state: Rest. A simple four-letter word we all need now more than ever.
So why do we not come to this place of rest? I will not delve into the darkness in answering this question but will land on one truth: We do not give ourselves permission. For whatever reason, we will not give ourselves permission to stop and enter into the rest Jesus commands us to enter, invites us to enter, and promises to give us. I don’t understand this because I am often preaching it to myself, and I tend to be a little myopic when it comes to my own sins.
So, what do we do about this? Let me tell you a story. Yesterday I had to call my mechanic to come and tow my car away. Why? Because it had no power. I had charged it, I had jumped it, and heard nothing but a sickening “Click” when I turned the key. I had to finally admit I could not fix it and needed to call for help. Calling for help is not a bad thing. If helping you finding rest is something we can help with, please give us a call. We are willing to talk with you, your staff, or your leadership team if it means you get to move into the promised rest of Christ, a rest we all need.
NCD Pastoral Care