There is something so sweet about the taste of true rest. I love those moments when you have worked yourself super hard and then later you are given the opportunity to slow down and rest. I mean truly rest. You can sit, sleep, relax, knowing the job for the day is done. I believe it is the hard work that makes you appreciate the rest all that more. The contrast of those two things brings out the sweetness that rest can be. This is certainly true of physical rest, but I think this can also be very true of spiritual rest as well. For me, there has always been this gigantic weight of not measuring up. I have spent nearly my entire life in religious pursuits hoping that I would gain a better standing with God and others. That was until God revealed to me the power of being a son.
I have a son. He is young so I am still learning the ins and outs of raising a boy, but God has taught me so much about myself through the perspective of fathering a son. I see so much of him in me, and I have learned that my love for him is never based on any of the good or bad that he does. Sure, I get frustrated with him at times for not listening and obeying, but my love is not dependent upon any act that he does or does not do. I guess you could say it is steadfast love, to use a spiritual term. However, my steadfast love is like a drop of water in the ocean of love that God has for me. And here is what this awareness of God’s love produces in me…rest. Sigh. Can you feel it? Can you taste the sweetness that it is to rest in the love of God?
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus describes Himself as “gentle and lowly in heart.” This description of Jesus matters because it gives such amazing context for what Jesus is trying to communicate in these verses. Jesus is communicating that He is approachable, calling us to rest in Him in Matthew 11:28-30, specifically from two major components of our restlessness. First, the burden of sin, and second, the weariness of fruitless toil, as one commentator put it. Both of these have plagued me at times, and created in me a mentality that I need to work my way back to finding life in God once again. The truth that this verse reveals is that Jesus has given us a new “yoke” to carry, the yoke of sonship. As it says in Romans 8:15, “You did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Rest, my dear friends. Rest as a child of God, knowing that there is nothing that can separate you from His love (Romans 8:35-39). Make the choice to stop trying to earn your way back into His love, and rest in the truth of what it means to be a son or daughter of the Most High God.