“Go To Sleep” or “Come To Me?”
Matthew 11:28-29 (AMP)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.
The tempo of life can be hectic and high for many of us. As a Christian, it is often very challenging to practice the restfulness outlined in the Bible in the midst of the daily clamor. When 6 hours of sleep is a luxury than a norm, finding rest as a city-dweller may seem far-fetched.
So how can we find rest and live victoriously in the midst of the pressure-cooker like circumstances that most of us are in? For many of us, sleep is often our solution to our weariness. We often assume that the more sleep we have, the better we will feel.
Yet, I am sure most of us have had days where we wake up from 10 hours’ worth of sleep still feeling tired. On the contrary, there are days where we may not have as much sleep as we desire, but we wake up fresh and recharged.
Clearly, having enough sleep is not the only ingredient to a restful life. Let me bring to your attention something interesting that struck me when I was studying Jesus’ invitation to all who are tired and burdened in Matthew 11:28-29. Notice that for all who are heavy-laden and overburdened, Jesus says He will give us rest, not sleep!
In the verses of our concern today, it is clear that Jesus’s solution to our weary soul is something much deeper than physical sleep. Clearly, having enough sleep is not the only ingredient to a restful life. While many of us says “ Go to sleep” when we are tired, Jesus says “Come to me” first! We may be sleeping, but we may not be resting the way we want.
“Come to me” is an invitation to draw close to God. It is an invitation from a God who desires communion and intimacy with us. Unity with Christ through daily communion brings rest and recovery. We are a spirit with a body and not a body with a spirit. Our spiritual condition does affect our physical condition. God wants us to live from position of rest and not burn-out. God wants us to be connected to the right power source. He promises us in John 15 that when we are joined to Him daily, we can do all things! (Jn 15).
The main enemy of a restful life is fear. Fear creates anxiety in our lives and disrupts our restful living. One key way to combat this enemy of rest is to be constantly united and connected with Christ through prayer.
In Philippians 4:6-9, the Bible encourages us not to “fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition…” The verse following it assures us that God’s peace that transcends all understanding will be with us!
I love the way God’s peace is described in the Amplified Bible: “A tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is.” Wow!
The Word of God says that Jesus’ burden is light! If you are constantly weigh down by a heavy and unbearable burden of fear and uncertainty, that is not from God! God wants us to operate from rest and not anxiety! Make a daily commitment to go to Him through reading the Bible, praying and thanking Him and find the rest that will help you sleep sweetly and soundly every night.
Let us pray.
“Dear Father, I thank You that I can find rest and recovery in You. You desire that I operate from rest and those heavy burdens of anxiety are not from You. As I draw near to You in prayer, draw near to me. Hear and answer my petitions as I lift my cares and concerns to You. Fill me with Your peace and rest as I connect myself to You daily. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.