Rest for the weary heart

Is your heart weary?
Are you weighed down by heavy burdens?
Then Jesus has a beautiful invitation for you today…

“Come to me, all of you 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.”
Matthew 11:28-29

The word for ‘rest’ here is the Greek word anapauō and it literally means to refresh, to calm, to strengthen, and to cease from struggling.

When we courageously bring the condition of our hearts to God…

  • He doesn’t amplify our guilt by sighing in weariness that we’re still not in a better shape
  • He doesn’t amplify our shame by drawing attention to our failures and mistakes
  • He doesn’t amplify our fear by threatening judgment and punishment
  • He doesn’t amplify our sadness by leaving us lost and alone
  • He doesn’t amplify our weariness by commanding us to just sort ourselves out
  • Jesus says he comes to us with gentleness and humility. Some translations say, ‘gentle and lowly’.

The word gentle means that he doesn’t over-react. He’s not harsh or unkind. He’s doesn’t come towards us with a pointy finger but with wide-open arms. He has immense compassion on us – even if some of what we’re feeling is because of our own bad choices.

In the struggling mess of our fragile lives, Jesus doesn’t hold his nose in disgust, he draws us close in devotion.

Let this be good news to you today. Pour out your weary, burdened heart to God and let Him gently bring His rest to you.

And then, let this be good news through us today. All around us are people equally fragile. As Jesus is gentle with us, let’s be gentle with them. Be thoughtful. Be people who help others catch their breath and grab moments of rest.

Here’s a prayer…

Father God, I am weary and burdened at this moment. Life feels crazy hard.
Breathe your refreshing life, peace, and rest into my soul.
And then, may my words and actions gently breathe life and hope into other wounded souls.
Amen

Being gentle is a beautiful expression of mercy and justice. Let’s continue to ask the Holy Spirit to cultivate gentleness in our hearts

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