Friday, September 2, 2011

For when I'm feeling weary and burdened

As the new school year picks up speed, I’ve been thinking a lot about the value of weekends. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job—hopefully that’s true of most of us. However, there’s something about having Saturday and Sunday off (or perhaps other days, for those not in the teaching profession) that is so necessary.

Of course, there’s the physical rest—that’s nice. Sleeping in on Saturday, even if it’s only till 7:30 or 8 is a beautiful feeling. However, I believe that there’s more to it than this.

In Matthew 11: 28, Christ extends a profound invitation:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Even working jobs that we love, even while we are fulfilling our calling in life, we can still tire out—can still encounter frustrations, disappointments and unexpected challenges. So when Christ offers His yoke to us, a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light, He is offering us something greater than mere physical relaxation; He’s offering reprieve from all of the things that upset us, stress us out and hurt us on a day to day basis.

The key is this—finding our rest in Christ. It’s not enough to simply say “Well, I’m tired, I’m going to sleep all day Saturday.” No, we need to spend time in prayer, time meditating on the Word, time praising and rejoicing in Christ’s goodness and mercy. It is from our LORD that we receive our calling and the abilities to do our jobs, and so at the end of the day, we must lay all of that at His feet: gratitude for the successes we’ve experienced and hope for relief from the struggles and challenges.

If we don’t do this, our lives begin to unravel quicker than a ball of yarn and we eventually buckle beneath the weight of the stresses in our lives. However, when we lay all at the feet of the King, when we truly find our rest in Him, we find ourselves rejuvenated in more than just a physical sense—our broken hearts are repaired, our parched souls refreshed and our clouded minds sharpened. We return to our routine, our responsibilities with renewed vigor and purpose that can only come from the power of Christ.

This shouldn’t only happen on the weekends, but the weekends provide a natural opportunity to set aside time to reflect and rest in Christ, a reminder that no matter how busy our lives may get, we’ve been given the gift of Sabbath rest. To the weary, burdened soul, there could be no better oasis.

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