“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Beaten up. Worn out. Fed up. Sound familiar?
In the challenges of each day, we choose to chase those things that promise fulfillment, but usually fail to deliver. The expectations to be “perfect” lead us down a path of exhaustion. Sometimes if feels like we’re stuck in a hamster’s wheel . . . running and running and running. In trying to effectively be all things to all people, we ineffectively become nothing.
God sees our restlessness and offers relief. His invitation never changes. He calls us to worship Him by resting in His presence and relying on His power. He is both committed to and capable of caring for us.
In worship, we rejoice. Our hearts are calmed when we consider Him. David writes, “But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!” (Ps 40:16) God sees what we can’t see. He knows what we don’t know. He desires that depend on Him . . . and find contentment in His counsel. ‘“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”’ (Isa 55:8–9)
In worship, we’re refreshed. Paul reminds us of the connection between giving our bodies as worship and giving our minds a new way of thinking. Our thoughts become renewed, recast and refreshed. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom 12:1-2). Seeing Who God is changes how we see ourselves.
In worship, we’re relieved. There’s an old hymn that says “Burdens are lifted at Calvary.” Jesus becomes our burden bearer. He lightens our load. He reduces our heaviness with holiness. He replaces our burden with blessing. He carries what we cannot. “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” (Psalm 30:11-12). You can cast your burden on Him because He cares for you. (1 Pet 5:7)
In worship, we rest. He brings pause in our pressure, ease to our expectations and solitude in our struggles. The psalmist writes, “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:2-3). In our conflicts, He calls us to come to Him. Jesus tells us that His “yoke is easy, and [His] burden is light.” (Matt 11:30)
I appreciate the interpretation of this passage in The Message, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matt 11:28-30)
Find your peace in His praise.