How To Find Rest For a Weary Soul


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.” — Matthew 11:28-30

As I get older, I have come face to face with a difficult reality: life is chaotic. Many times it feels like I’m battling storms more than I am enjoying the peace that God promises in His Word. I find myself waiting for that “season” of rest instead of believing it is available to me right now in whatever situation or stage of life I’m caught in. I always assume such a season will come after the storm passes or when I’m somehow less busy. In many ways, I was just waiting for things to simply get better instead of believing in faith that Jesus offers peace in the midst of the chaos, not just when it passes.

In the passage above, Jesus extends an invitation to those who are weary and burdened. This invitation seems reassuring as he promises rest for such heavy-laden souls. But often times, “rest” seems to take more work than anything else. The religious side of me tells myself it takes more work to crawl into my prayer closet and crack open my bible to come to God when I already have so much to do. But over the years, I began to think that I am missing something. If God promises rest when I come to Him, why is it difficult to “come" to Him? Over time, I realized the simplicity of God’s promise. Finding rest for my soul only requires two things: come and learn.

“Come To Me" — Bring Your Nothing

I’ve always felt a burden to bring something to God. Whether it was a “holy” version of myself or fervent prayers, I felt I had to bring something of worth to Him. However, in the verses above, Jesus invites the weary and burdened to simply come to Him. It’s that simple. It’s hard to believe He invites the tired, don’t-feel-like-praying, beat-down, worried, “messed up" versions of us. In reality, that’s truly what He desires. He wants nothing more than to embrace us just as we are and to lavish His love on us (1 Jn. 3:1). We can find the trust rest when we accept His invitation to come no matter what circumstance or spiritual condition we are in.  

"Learn From Me” — Abide In His Word

In the verse above, Jesus first invites us to come. Second, he invites us to take His yoke upon us. While the yoke of religion relies on the flesh and self-righteous deeds, the yoke of Jesus allows us to live in grace and freedom as children of God. The yoke of Jesus is easy and light because it is the yoke to simply come, repent and follow Him despite our imperfections and the burdens of this world. As God’s children, Jesus teaches his disciples that they are invited by the Father to find rest in Him and His promises. He promises to meet all of our physical and spiritual needs (Phil. 4:19, Matt. 6:25, Luk. 12:24). He will never forsake us (Deut. 31:6). He has plans for us (Jer. 29:11). He is sovereign over every aspect of our lives (Col. 1:17). As His Word dwells in our souls, His promises quell the chaos in our hearts even in the midst of the storms of life. We don’t have to wait for the storms to pass for rest because true rest is found when we surrender every aspect of our lives to God as we abide in His promises.

Instead of waiting for the storms to pass or for matters in our lives to settle down, Jesus invites us to find rest where we are and as we are. As we learn to abide and meditate on His words, we find true rest as our souls’ turmoil is transforms into peace, knowing that God's promises ring true every day and every moment of our lives.

Andrea Chung is a wife, mother, and on staff with The Meeting Place TMP. She attended University of California, Davis where she studied Sociology. She furthered her education at UCLA where she received a M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Education. 

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