Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
We need to take time to do our work efficiently but we also need time to rest and get our strength renewed. If we don’t rest we will not be able to fulfil our tasks properly.
I’m thinking about Rapsy and Missy, my two dogs. I’ve got Rapsy when he was just a puppy and one of the things I’ve learned really quick is that, beside attention and exercise, he especially needs his rest. Missy came to us when she was older. She came to us from a dog pound. She was not used to getting sufficient rest. After the morning walks she would often lie on the couch, trying to keep her eyes open and stay awake. Every little noise would wake her up if she had fallen asleep. It took her a long time to relax and feel safe enough to fall into a deep and restful sleep.
True, work is important. We should not be lazy and hanging around all day. But there is a time for everything: a time to work and a time to rest — six days for work followed by a sanctified and blessed day of rest (see Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:8-10, 23:12) — that’s what the Bible tells us.
For moms there often isn’t such a thing as a whole Sabbath Day. I will not discuss this in today’s blog but leave it to another day’s post. Also I’m not judging anyone who is not ready or cannot commit (e.g. due to work related issues) to a 24-hour rest on the seventh day at this time. My point is that sooner or later we do need to have our strength renewed, but not in a way as the world suggests. I’m not only talking about regaining strength (through sleep) at the end of the day but especially after hardships strike!
The next verse (29) in the eleventh chapter of Matthew’s Gospel talks about finding rest unto the soul. Sad fact is, many people are struggling more or less painfully through this life, not wanting to know more about God’s Word, not wanting to come to Jesus Christ so they would receive healing rest.
The LORD says:
Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)
Back in Jeremiah’s days the people said that they will not walk in it. What is your answer?