Matthew 11:28-29 (ESV)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
I heard a story about a young mother with three children. The phone rang one day and a voice on the other end of the phone said, "Honey, it's Mom. I called because I know that you're busy with the kids, and I want to give you some help. I'm going to stop by to clean the house, take care of the baby, and prepare dinner for when the boys get home from school.
"I want you to get ready to go to my beautician, I've paid her already, and she's going to give you 'the works,' your appointment is at 1:00. Give George a call at the office and tell him that you'll meet him at Olive Garden for dinner, it's on me..."
At that point, the young mother interrupted and said, "George, who is George?"
She said, "My husband's name is Fred."
"Oh. Is this 365-3212?"
"No this is 365-3213."
The caller said, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I've got the wrong number."
After a pause, the young mother said, "Does this mean that you're not coming over?"
Do you ever feel like you could use a phone call like that? Do you ever find yourself wishing someone would just come along and take care of things for you so that you can have a little rest?
Back in the 1970's, there was a big concern that computers and technology would radically change how many hours a week people would work. In fact, there was testimony given to a Senate sub-committee forecasting that within 20 years, the average American would be working only 22 hours a week. They said, "The great challenge would be figuring out what to do with all the excess time." Now here we are, 40 plus years later, after major advances in technology -- how many of us are wondering what to do with all the excess time on our hands?
Our world has become the world of the Red Queen of Alice in Wonderland. She said, "It takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that."
That's why what Jesus offers is so very precious. He says, "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)
It's one of the most beautiful promises in all the Bible. It was a promise made to the Israelites as they headed toward the land of Canaan -- forty years they traveled and traveled in the wilderness, until finally they arrived at a land of rest. And it's the promise made to those of us who are Christians as we look forward to heaven. The Hebrew writer says, "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God." (Hebrews 4:9).
I don't know about you, but one of the things that I'm most looking forward to when I get to heaven is being able to rest. I'm not talking about sitting down in a Lazy-Boy recliner with my feet propped up and a remote control to a big screen television in my hand. That's not heaven. I just know that heaven will be a place where we won't experience the feeling of being so tired, so utterly worn out. Sometimes when people ask me how I am, I just want to say, "I'm tired. I'm just so very tired." Heaven is going to be place of rest. But when Jesus said, "I will give you rest", I think he was talking about more than just heaven.....
Dear Lord, we pray for that rest that can only come from You. Help us to take the time and rest fully in You and to slow down. In The Name of Jesus, Amen.