I’ve felt more weary in the last year than I think I ever have. The pandemic mixed with personal trials weighed heavy, and there were many moments when it all felt too much. Many can relate to this, I’m sure. At any given moment, we carry countless burdens – personal struggles, girls we’re discipling, events we’re planning (or hoping to), family issues, and more.
Indeed, all of this is too much for us to bear on our own.
The keyword here, though, is “on our own”. On a particularly tiring day, all I could tell the Lord was, “Lord, I’m exhausted.” As I whispered this prayer, He reminded me, “Come to me.” In our weariness, Jesus doesn’t leave us on our own. Instead, He gives a beautiful invitation to our weary souls. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The first three words of this passage, “Come to me,” are life-changing.
Jesus came to earth so that we could come to Him for salvation. Trusting Christ for salvation is the very first step in finding true rest. However, as we know too well, even Christians grow weary. When it all feels too much, where do we turn for rest?
I don’t know about you, but I too quickly turn to things of this world. I look to a Netflix binge, a piece of chocolate, a social media scroll, or even a nap to bring me the rest I long for. While none of these things are bad in and of themselves, when we expect them to do what only Jesus can, we’ll be disappointed every single time. Instead, Jesus commands us to come to Him.
Only He offers true rest and true peace.
When ministry is discouraging, unknowns feel heavy, or trials just seem too much, come to Christ. Open His Word, pray, meditate on the Truth of Scripture, sing a favorite worship song, or reach out to a sister in Christ for encouragement and prayer. These things will be far more life-giving to our souls than any Netflix binge or piece of chocolate.
I absolutely love a good Sunday afternoon nap (especially after a sleepless weekend with students!), but the rest Jesus offers is better than even this, because His rest is eternal. His invitation is for those weary of struggling with sin, those who are exhausted from the weight of its shame and condemnation. While today’s problems do feel heavy (and are heavy), we must remember Jesus has cared for our biggest, most exhausting problem—our sin. Even when we’re bone-tired from living in this fallen world, we cling to this spiritual rest, knowing our sin was cared for by the cross of Christ.
In verses 29-30, Jesus continues to offer something beautiful. He tells us to learn from Him. The question is, who are we learning from?
As we search for wisdom on how to do ministry in a pandemic, how to love our families well, and how to be the women Christ calls us to be, who (or what) is our source of knowledge? Information seems limitless these days. In seconds, we can Google, get ideas from Pinterest, and hear the latest news. Truly, though, are we learning from these worldly things, or from Christ? Are we first seeking worldly wisdom, or seeking true, godly wisdom through prayer and study of the Word?
When we learn from Christ, we learn His yoke is easy and His burden is light. 1 John 5:3 also tells us, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” Yes, His calling on our lives is a high one and not always easy. He calls us to daily take up our cross (Matt. 16:24-26), walk according to the Spirit and not the flesh (Gal. 5:16-26), be holy as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:16), and more. Specifically in ministry, we’re called to love others, including those it’s hard to love. We’re called to make disciples, even if it gets messy.
Our calling as Christians is one we can’t do except for by the Spirit.
However, I find that when I feel my most weary, I’m most likely not learning from Christ. Typically, what gives me pressure are worldly standards to have the perfect home, the coolest student ministry activity, and always the right answer when the girl I’m discipling asks one. I often stop and ask myself, “Did Jesus call me to that?” And many times, the answer is no. I’m no longer under the heavy yoke of sin and this world, yet I sometimes choose to live like I am. When I stop looking at things of this world and start coming to Christ and obeying him, there’s wonderful, immense joy! Jesus’ commands aren’t drudgery. They’re for our good and also bring us freedom.
This fallen world makes us so weary doesn’t it, friends? I’m sure the girls we’re discipling are weary too. Let’s be women who come to Christ and point our girls to do the same. Christ is our Great High Priest who can sympathize with us in our weakness (Heb. 4:15). When we’re discouraged because girls won’t come, or weary from discipleship, we can trust Christ understands, because He lived a life of ministry too (and did so perfectly). We can rest in Christ, trusting that one day, all the things of this fallen world that tire us will be no more. One day, we’ll no longer battle our sin, deal with discouragements, or struggle to please man above pleasing God. On this day, we’ll be in our eternal rest. Praise God!
Sweet sisters, come to Jesus. His yoke is easy and his burden is light.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Cassie Pattillo is a wife to Jack, and mama to Hunter (5), Isaac (3), and is in the process of adopting from India. Jack is a student pastor, so she loves serving alongside him and investing in teens’ lives. She is passionate about biblical literacy along with writing and teaching about Scripture. She is also a big fan of slow mornings with a cup of coffee, a good book on the beach, and Gamecock football. Connect with Cassie: Blog // Facebook // Instagram