The Christian Finds Rest in Jesus – Week of July 10, 2023

“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 enter her room, a slight woman with snowy white hair sits in a comfortable chair. She looks up at me and with a warm smile says how happy she is to see me. I tell her the same and settle in for a visit. Our conversation takes on the usual series of questions. “How are you feeling today?” “Who has been here to visit this week?” “What do you need? How can I help?”

Her responses are always similar. She feels fine all things considered. A couple of people have visited, and she so enjoyed their visit. And then I notice a change in that warm smile. As she sits each day, reflecting on her life to this point and the world around her, she admits she’s tired. I ask if she’s been sleeping well. “Not that kind of tired,” she explains. As she looks around, she shares that she is ready to go. “Go where?”, I ask. “Go home to my Jesus.” This woman of faith is feeling the weight of sin this side of heaven that has been with and around her a lifetime and she’s ready for whenever Jesus calls her home.

I’m nowhere near the age of this dear woman, but I have moments like hers and I would imagine most people do. I’m not saying I’m eager to say to Jesus, “I’m done! I’m outta here!” However, there are moments that I might be willing to admit that the weight of sin in this world is heavy, a burden that is hard to bear.

Today’s wonderful and often familiar verses speak to that kind of tired. It’s not a physical fatigue but a spiritual tired that only finds its rest in one place, Jesus. The verses provide a wonderful picture. Imagine Jesus standing with arms outstretched. He looks at you with open arms and says, “Come. I’ll give you the rest you need.” With those loving arms wrapped around us, the cares and burdens are replaced by hope in him. He’s gentle and with a humble heart he reminds you of his love, his forgiveness, his grace, and his care for you.

There are all kinds of tired—tired after a long day, or long illness, or long-timed strained relationship, or a life in this sin ridden world. But in it all is our rest. We don’t have to wait to be in heaven with Jesus to enjoy the rest and peace we crave. It’s already ours because of what Jesus has done for us. The day will come when he takes us home to be with him in heaven. For now, we can lean on him and rest in his loving, gentle, grace-filled arms and be at peace. And as we share Jesus with those around us, we provide that peace to a broken world. Rest well, my sisters and brothers in Christ.

My dear heavenly Father, sometimes life can be so heavy and hard. Thank you for calling me to you for the peace and rest I need in you. Help me to share that with others around me as well. Amen

A Hymn to Consider:

Christian Worship 21 833 I Run to Christ

This is a newer hymn that beautifully reflects today’s reading. Its poetic stanzas remind us of that dear Friend and Savior, Christ, to whom we can run for comfort and his peace. This would be a wonderful hymn to share with someone you know who is going through a difficult time.

Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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