Hymns of Hope

Day 5: Come, Oh, Come to Me

Matthew 11:25-30, Jeremiah 31:7-13, Isaiah 11:6-10

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).”

Christ’s offer of rest for the weary is one of the most comforting promises in all of Scripture. When we find ourselves with nothing, worn out and hopeless, He is there, offering the rest our souls need. But what about when life seems to be going well, and yet we still feel heavy-ladened and burdened? Elizabeth Akers’s hymn, “Come, Oh, Come to Me,” is a rich reminder of the comfort we have in Christ at all times, engaging us where we so often are, “lingering, waiting for some better time.”

Why do we linger?
Why are we so reluctant to come to Him?
What is it that keeps us waiting?

I believe that Christ certainly offers rest and comfort in seasons of hardship and emptiness. But He brings us near not merely to free us from pain, but to free us from our idols. What does it mean to be heavy-ladened and burdened? It means to be weary of the world and all it offers, to be tired of empty promises and trifling thrills.

But of course, we are often slow to tire of the world. We cling to visions of success and luxury, of excitement and acclaim, of relaxation and pleasure, ignoring the fact that none of these truly satisfy. Or we linger because we are afraid, though we ought to remember His promise: “They will come with weeping, but I will bring them back with consolation” (Jeremiah 31:9). We may even tarry because we still love our comforts, and even our sins, more than we love Christ. We huddle with and cling to our idols, reluctant to come to Jesus until we’ve tried them all and tired of them. What must we be weary of in order to turn to Christ?

We must tire of our wanderings, and grow weary of the world.

How great is His kindness toward us that, though we wait so long and make so many excuses, still He calls us gently, patiently. He is “lowly and humble in heart,” as C.S. Lewis observed in his book, The Problem of Pain. “He is not proud.” Lewis continues, “He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him.”

Oh what a Savior is Christ, to offer us His rest, love, joy, blessing, and freedom when we are so slow to turn to Him. Let us cast away our idols, for Christ beckons us. May Christ so move in us that we run to Him for rest. If you know Christ, do not cling to the offerings of this tired old world, but rest in His promises. If you do not know Christ, “today He’s calling, come and claim Him thine!”

Written by Caleb Faires

Come, Oh, Come to Me
Text: Lizzie Akers, 1902
Tune: James M. Black, 1902

Weary burdened wand’rer,
there is rest for thee,
at the feet of Jesus,
in His love so free;
listen to His message,
words forever blest,
oh, thou heavy laden,
“Come to Me and rest.”

Refrain:
“Come, oh come to Me,
come, oh come to Me,”
Jesus now is waiting, calling
“Come, oh come to Me.”

Bring Him all thy burdens,
all thy guilt and sin,
mercy’s door is open,
rise and enter in.
Jesus there is waiting,
patiently for thee,
hear Him gently calling,
“Come, oh, come to Me.”    Refrain

Linger then no longer,
come just now to Him;
ere the shadows gather,
and thy light grows dim.
Thou hast long been waiting
for some better time,
but today He’s calling,
come and claim Him thine.    Refrain

He will bid thee welcome,
at the blessed cross,
turn to joy thy mourning,
turn to gold thy dross.
He will lead thee gently,
all along the way,
in the path that shineth,
unto perfect day.    Refrain