“…and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11.28
I asked Grace Bennett what she might draw based on this passage and the word “rest.” The drawing above and the one at the end of this post are her artistic expressions of the good news of rest in Jesus.
Fatigue ambushes us when we work too hard, when we get up too early and go to bed too late, when we try to balance too many demands, or when relationships cause conflict and pain. Fatigue comes when we live beyond our physical, emotional, and spiritual means.
During the Friday night worship time at our recent Statewide Wesley Foundation Retreat, the worship leader shared a word she sensed someone needed to hear. I don’t know who else might have needed to hear the word she shared, but it definitely was for me. The word she shared was simple.
“The Lord wants you to know it’s not yours to carry,” she said.
In other words, “Come to me, all who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11.28-30
The Message says it this way… “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.”
Coming to Jesus, we are refreshed with get-away rest and with rest-along-the-way. Jesus renews us with get-away rest – a good night’s sleep, a day off, Sabbath, exercise, a coffee break, or a retreat. And Jesus also refreshes us with rest-along-the-way – the kind of restfulness we experience in relationship with Jesus in the course of our hard-working days and weeks and years. It’s the kind of rest we find when we accept Jesus’ invitation to us: “Come to me…walk with me…work with me…keep company with me.”
It’s not yours to carry.
“…and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11.29
Grace Bennett is a member of First UMC, Long Beach. She’s a sophomore majoring in art and a student leader at the Mississippi State Wesley Foundation. You’ll find more of Grace’s work on Instagram: @gracedpallette and http://picdeer.com/gracedpalette
Hugh Griffith, Director / Campus Minister, Mississippi State University Wesley Foundation