(Paul Merrill writes here every First Friday)
Some days find me wondering about life. I get discouraged at mountains that need to be climbed, fires that need to be put out and cries that need to be responded to.
Mental and spiritual tiredness can be translated into physical tiredness.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest,” in Matthew 11:28.
Often my tiredness comes when I forget to come to Jesus. But coming to Jesus doesn’t always provide the instant relief I want. Jesus came to his Father and sought rest. He didn’t find it in Luke 22:45. He was “exhausted from grief” after he had spent hours in prayer.
Maybe a good perspective is to look at the verse after Matthew 11:28 – “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Notice the word “yoke”. That usually means a wooden beam put over the necks of cattle to help them pull a load. We will be pulling a load. That’s part of life. But will the load be one we created or one that God wants us to carry? If it’s a God-created load, Jesus tells us that we will find rest as we carry it. That’s an ironic aspect to life – we are designed to work. And when we find the work we were designed for, we will find rest. But it’s still work!
TV and movies tell us that we can have a fulfilling life with no work or effort involved. A search for “Free” yields almost 3.8 billion results on Google. We all want something for nothing – but remember that good things do cost.
And remember that we need to rest.