I Will Give You Rest
by Terry Wardle
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.
This scripture contains powerful words and images meant to evoke feelings of contentment, peace, and most certainly rest. It is a divine summons for you to join Christ in a life characterized by gentleness and humility, an easy yoke, and a burden that does not wear you down.
If you were to observe the way most of us are living the Christian life, it becomes clear that we may have lost our way. If shaped by what we see and experience, that scripture would need to be rewritten: “If you come to Christ, prepare to work hard, carry heavy loads, and live on the edge of exhaustion. Join Jesus in ministry and your neck will chaff from the yoke you wear and the burden you bear. You will grow weary and faint of heart.” Admit it or not, many of our lives contradict the invitation of Christ. We have failed to enter His rest.
“Come to Me”
Our Lord Jesus is extending an invitation for you to come to Him and experience genuine rest. A level of rest you could never earn or achieve. A rest that is yours because you are connected to the heart of God as His adopted child. Everything true of Jesus as God’s Son, has become true of you as His adopted, dearly loved child. No performance, no striving, no pleasing, no pretending needed. With gentleness and humility, the Lord of the universe extends an offer of connection and says, ‘This yoke is easy, this burden is light.”
Jesus crossed the universe to reconnect you with your Father, eliminating the separation sin caused and reuniting you with the Source of every deep longing you have in life. You are the child of God. This connection is a done deal, extended by grace and accepted through faith.
Do you need to please and perform in order to measure up? Absolutely not. Christ has measured up on your behalf and you are able to rest in contentment that love, significance, purpose, safety, belonging, and understanding are yours. You are invited to enter that rest. This is the heart of Christ’s teaching. No need to worry. Seek the Kingdom and “all these things” will be yours.
This rest becomes yours by actively believing that God is lovingly connected to you and promises to be the source of fulfilling your deepest longings in life. What you are incapable of securing through a lifetime of performing and pleasing, God has given you by grace through faith in Christ. Because of Jesus Christ, you are loved and accepted by the Father. No further conditions required. You are secure in him and most certainly significant, proven by the cross of Christ. This is a done deal in Jesus and God welcomes you into that rest with Him. Today, whether your worst day of following Christ or your best, there is rest and peace for you. That is the heart of the breathtaking gospel of grace.
Adapted from Every Breath We Take: Living in the Presence, Love, and Generosity of God by Terry Wardle
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