A Message from Gracie...
Have you ever been tired? Chances are you’ve just “YES!” said to yourself. No matter what you do or don’t do, and no matter how much sleep you get, you’re going to be tired the next day. Being tired can be physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. Maybe we can’t stay awake, or maybe our relationship with God is in a rough spot right now. What adds to this is that on top of our burdens and stresses, we find ourselves with friends, a part of families, and a part of a fellowship of believers, so we oftentimes find ourselves taking on the burdens (the pain, the heartache, the struggles) of others too.
If it’s nothing out of the ordinary for us to be tired and to be in need of rest, how do we find it? We can sleep eight or more hours a day, but that doesn’t always mean that we rest. How do we find true rest?
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
Jesus knows that we have many, many burdens to bear (and that we bear the burdens of others too), and that these burdens can drag us down and cause us to feel exhausted and stressed. Jesus says “come to me” because it’s in this personal, intimate fellowship that we have with him that the weight of our burdens is eased and become lighter.
Jesus tells us that his “yoke is easy” and his “burden is light,” which means that his yoke is useful and well-fitting, and his burden is not overbearing and burdensome. Jesus is literally telling us that out of all the burdens that we bear, Jesus should not be one of them.
In order to find this rest, Jesus says “learn from me.” Jesus teaches us many things but they’re meant to be more than informational; they’re meant to be transformational. Growing is a part of our journeys, it’s a part of being disciples. As a disciple, a part of growing is practicing and making a habit of what you’re being taught.
So, how do we find rest? We read and listen to what Jesus tell us to do, and we practice them. We practice coming into the presence of Christ, and we practice giving up control of our lives. We make a habit of coming into Christ’s presence, and we make a habit of sharing what’s going on in our lives. We come into this fellowship that we share with Jesus knowing that he will ease the burdens that we have, not make them worse.
Gracie P. Cates
Director of Youth Ministries