The above verse flits into my mind often. I remember feeling so weary and burdened as a mother of infants and receiving comfort for by sleep-deprived self. I remember clinging to this verse as I walked through the dark valleys of painful circumstances.
Now that the infants have grown and flown and the dark circumstances have passed, I expected that my soul would feel completely rested at all times. I thought that having reserves of time and energy were the equivalent to rest for my soul. Not so….
Some days, when many appointments fill my schedule and sad circumstances, my soul feels rested and at peace, and some days that have gaping holes in my datebooks, my soul feels worn out and burdened.
As I read this verse, I see some instructions I must follow in order to find rest for my soul. First, I must come to Jesus. That is not my natural bent. When things are going well or life seems stuffed, I foolishly occupy myself with anything but the pursuit of God. Second, I must take His yoke upon me. I confess that my first reaction to this direction was, “God, can’t you see that I’m already busy enough? Another yoke? I can’t handle anything else.” I didn’t realize that God was willing to take the heavy yoke of seeking others’ approval, disappointment over unmet expectations, and self-condemnation and replace them with His loving care. Finally, I must learn from Him. Jesus spoke those words over 2000 years ago, knowing that I would desperately need them. Jesus came to earth to be an example for me of gentleness and humility, two character traits that have always been a struggle for me. My pride keeps me from admitting my need for God’s help. Without His help, I become impatient and frustrated, which comes through in all my relationships. Jesus left us His Word, the Bible, and His Spirit to constantly remind us of those words. I have so much to learn from Him!
I’m still learning what full rest for my soul looks like, but I’m can now see the importance of coming to Jesus, taking His yoke upon me, and learning from Him.
How would you define rest for your soul?