Featured Artist: Sarah Mathew
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 11:29-30
I occasionally have conversations with my Muslim friends during which we discuss some of the deeper matters of life. In these discussions, I often hear them mention that they lack confidence whether or not they will enter Paradise when they die. As a result, they must be extremely careful every day to balance the morality of their lives and earn the favor of Allah.
When I hear this, my heart breaks — if there’s anything I’ve learned in my years of walking closely with Jesus, it’s that I could never behave in such a way as to earn the approval of God and gain entry to Heaven.
A life of earning sounds
burdensome, heavy, and restless.
In Matthew 11, Jesus proclaims that no one can know the Father except through the Son (Jesus), and through Him, those who labor and are burdened with weight are set free and given rest! If you’re anything like me, you have looked at ‘the Christian life’ and asked,
“Why don’t I feel free?
It feels really hard to live a life based on
I went through a season of life last year when I felt burdened, and the weight of life felt heavy (you can read more about that here). But Jesus miraculously stepped into that situation with an infinite fountain of grace that reminded me that a relationship with God involves rest – even when life is challenging, directionless, bland, or exhausting.
Bill Tell, Staff Development Specialist for the Navigators, went though a period of severe burnout and depression after years of ministry (which he discusses in his book, Lay it Down). It took time, but eventually, he experienced the life-giving rest that Jesus provides:
“I began to take new footsteps through the gospel and discovered a new gospel-freedom I never knew could be mine. I had been trapped in people pleasing and held captive by my shame. Discovering and experiencing this incredible good news of the gospel proved to be a major turning point in both my life and ministry.”
JESUS HAS PROMISED REST.
If you’re not experiencing that rest, cling to Him anyway. Talk to a friend, relieve yourself of superfluous commitments, read and listen to the stories of others — do whatever it takes to experience the rest that Jesus has promised.