I’ve recently started a Bible study at my church called Brave, and the very first week was titled ‘I Am Worn Out’. Uh, yeah, that’s me. And while I knew I was physically tired, I didn’t realize I was spiritually worn out too.
Or maybe I did. But I didn’t know what to do about it.
Good thing God’s got it covered.
On day four of the study, Matthew 11:28 was written in the margin. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” I’ve read this verse many, many times and always applied it to my physical weariness and rest, but I never really thought about the burdened part. This time it stood out to me, resonated with my tired soul. See, I’d been holding onto things and picking up even more that I shouldn’t have. And I know I can’t be the only one who does this. And while I did a lot of studying on this verse that I’d love to share another time, today I only want to share my immediate response to these simple words.
I was reminded of when my husband and I moved years ago. We had boxes and boxes of books that were incredibly heavy and I struggled carrying them. I remember the relief my muscles felt when Hubby would take a box from me. I didn’t fight him on it, I happily relinquished my hold to him. And that’s what God’s asking to do for us.
Much like those boxes of books, we carry burdens, and they can tire our spiritual muscles out. But God says, “Come to me…and I will give you rest.” See, He’s asking to carry the load for us. But for Him to do that, we must first do two things
For starters, we have to come to Him. No more trying on our own. And He’s not going to chase us down. He’s calling out for our tired bodies and spirits to seek Him out. That part is pretty clear with the “come to me” directive.
But it’s the second part we sometimes miss. God says “and I will give you rest”. He’s got it there, waiting for us. Yet, the very act of giving demands the action of receiving. God can hold His hands out all day long, ready to relieve our spiritual muscles, but we must surrender the hold on our burden to Him and receive His rest.
Believe me, I know how hard that is to do. Allowing the burden out of our arms, letting it loose in essence—removing all control…oh so hard for this control-loving gal—so that with our empty arms we can grab onto His rest. Yet until we do, we cannot receive His rest.
Remember. His shoulders are bigger. His muscles far stronger. And He never grows weak or tired. Even “God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.” (I Corinthians 1:25) So whatever is weighing you down today, hand it over to Him right now and receive the rest He’s waiting to give you.
What have you got to lose besides some tired muscles?