You can’t talk about rest without using this verse:
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 11:28-30
Just reading the passage again relaxes me.
I love how Jesus offers rest. I love how he shares the light burden. I love how he walks next to me – two oxen yoked together.
I’m always stamping my feet and trying to run out in front – but I can’t because I’m yoked to him.
And he just stands there and looks at me eyeball to eyeball and doesn’t move. I’m there to learn from him: slow down. Don’t be so anxious. Don’t be in such in a hurry. He knows exactly how fast we need to move to pull this burden.
Rest!! That’s what he offers.
I haven’t spent as much time on this phrase in the past: “gentle and lowly in heart.” Translated elsewhere: “gentle and humble in heart.” We are talking about the God of the universe who doesn’t have to be humble!
This phrase helps me to think of him as somebody who gently and patiently helps me figure out how to walk this life and carry my burdens in a restful, relaxing way.
His humble heart puts my needs first. He’s willing to wait till I learn to slow down and he’s willing to pull me along when I need to speed up.
His focus is always on me, the ox who needs to learn from him, the master.
So, when I get all antsy and balled up in knots inside and frustrated, I just have to keep this vision in mind and relax in the yoke with Jesus.
Dear Lord: Thank you for being with me in the yoke. Help me learn to rest. Amen