ODJ: come to me

November 21, 2015 

READ: Matthew 11:25-30 

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (v.28).

I remember being deeply upset and stressed out because of mounting medical bills after we had our third daughter. I couldn’t sleep for several nights as I was trying to figure out how we’d pay the bills. My muscles were tense. I was exhausted. The stress was getting to me. And so I cried out to God.

Stress, worry and anxiety are linked to many illnesses—heart attacks, digestive problems and depression, to name a few. Medical professionals tell us that to combat stress and worry we need to get plenty of rest, eat right and exercise. But Jesus tells us about something else that provides true peace and rest in a world where we experience “many trials and sorrows” (John 16:33). That ‘something else’ is exactly what I chose to do when anxiety threatened to overwhelm me.

As I prayed I was reminded of Matthew 11:28 where Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” It occurred to me that I hadn’t truly brought this distressing situation to Jesus. Trying to solve the problem for my family on my own, I simply couldn’t do it. Jesus invited me to come to Him in order to gain perspective and real rest.

In the next verse He said, “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” (v.29). Our loving Saviour doesn’t scold us for being unable to handle the pressures of life by ourselves. He doesn’t berate us. Instead, He’s humble and gentle of spirit.

—Marlena Graves

365-day-plan: Romans 8:1-18

Read 1 Peter 5:7 and consider what you’ve been doing with your ‘worries and cares’. 
What has caused you to experience anxious thoughts recently? How can you enter into the rest that Jesus alone can provide?