Come to Me
by Rebekah Gilbert
Each of these devotional blogs entries is meant to be read on your own or if you have family or friends you live with, to be read together aloud. A suggestion is to do this after you have dinner around the table together. At the conclusion, please spend time in personal reflection or in sharing with one another your answers to the questions at the end. Be sure to conclude with prayer.
Read Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
A few weeks ago, I was walking around my backyard and came across the most enticing picture of contrast. Snow had fallen the night before and was lying so strikingly on the bright yellow leaves of a forsythia bush. I was just so drawn to it because of the contrast! Contrast is pleasing to the senses, and I just knew that God had something to teach me in that visual juxtaposition. I would find out what He had for me this week as I studied the contrast between my ways and His ways.
“Come to Me,” He beckons.
He offers an invitation, and when we are weary, (or anytime), our first job is to identify the true task: come to Him. “Come” is an imperative verb and requires action! Perhaps you are weary in these present circumstances. It’s not easy to have our freedoms restricted. It’s not easy to navigate the media in search of truth. It’s not easy to even make a dinner plan for the week when you don’t know what will be on the grocery store shelves. I truly believe that these are light and momentary afflictions, but if we’re not careful, we can become heavy-laden with frustration, anger, worry, bitterness, and so on. I know that I have certainly had my moments these past few weeks.
Enter Jesus. He responds, “Come . . . and I will give you rest.”
Once we have come to Him through prayer and a conscious turning in our heart, He gives us more direction. He says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me.” At first, this doesn’t sound restful. Putting on a yoke sounds like hard work, but realize this: If you are weary and heavy-laden you are already wearing a yoke. Let us throw off our yoke and put on His. Ours is arduous; His is easy. Ours is heavy; His is light. Ours leaves us weary; His leaves us rested. Ours stems from a hard and prideful heart; His comes from a gentle and humble heart. Oh, what redeeming contrast! Choose His yoke, which is lined with love.
After donning His yoke, we are given the blessed promise: “YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” In true Jesus-fashion, He marries the Old Testament to the New. This phrase is borrowed from Jeremiah 6:16 where the prophet says, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.”
The right path for living is ancient and has been marked out by God. Do you see how the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, has laid out the path for us, invites us to put on His yoke, and by doing so, He keeps us ON that path?
I feel so cared for when I read this–doted upon by a loving Father. Also, in true Jesus-fashion, He is offering much more than mere help for the physical body. More soothing contrast: He isn’t offering physical rest, but rather the very best kind–rest for the SOUL. Physical rest leaves us tired again; His rest is deep and lasting, and it can be ours with Christ if we are willing to learn from Him.
Please come to Jesus today in prayer, asking Him to reveal to you the contrast between your ways and His ways. Then open the Word of God for yourself, be receptive to His instruction, and share what He teaches you with someone you love.
Reflect on these questions with someone else or on your own:
- Are you weary? What circumstances and choices of your own (attitudes, habits, etc.) are contributing to your weariness?
- Compare your attitudes with those of Jesus. Can you identify the contrast?
- What does it mean to you to put on His yoke, and learn from Him?
- Pray for wisdom in understanding Jesus’ instructions for you, and for an obedient heart to make a change.