Day 10

Jesus Gives Rest

from the reading plan

Matthew 11:1-30, Psalm 23:1-6, John 15:1-11

Last night, for the first time in several months, I wept for my deceased mother. I teared up as I told my wife about missing my mom, and I could have easily muscled through the emotion. I could have played it off as if I weren’t actually crying. “Tears? No, no, no. It’s just allergy season. Nashville in the spring, am I right?!” Instead, I decided to lean in. Literally, in fact. I walked over to the table where my wife was seated, knelt on the floor, and rested my face on her lap as I let the waterworks flow. 

What a cathartic exercise it is to give voice to our sadness in the presence of a loved one. It was as if months of festering sadness and grief were suddenly excoriated and washed clean. I didn’t realize it at first, but I really needed a good cry. 

Last night, the Lord reminded me that He has invited us to bring our sorrow to him: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

When I lay my sorrow down in the presence of my wife, Jesus met me in my sadness and empowered her to receive me with tenderness and compassion; instead of judging me or trying to fix me, she simply gave me space to be. 

But I confess that I’ve often reflected on this passage and wondered, “Ok, Jesus. I get that you want to give me rest, but I don’t exactly know how you propose to make it happen. Is there an incantation I need to recite to gain access to your presence? Is there some ritual I need to perform? Some arcane liturgy to perform that will obliterate my troubles?”

In reality, there are no rituals or exact words to say. Instead, we accept the yoke of following Jesus with our whole lives (by immersing ourselves in His Word, by praying with unfiltered hearts, and by participating in a community of Believers). It is there God often choses to impart His spirit of love and strength.

It is a daily crying out to God, having faith that God sees our sadness, hears our cries, and gives us His strength. He will draw near to us with arms outstretched, eager and delighted to relieve us of the burdens of our hearts.

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One thought on "Jesus Gives Rest"

  1. Kaleb C says:

    Alex, I feel you brother. I too lost my mother last summer and being the oldest son (and my personality) I took care of the necessities (funeral arrangements, contacting utilities, checking with friends & family, et al.), making sure things went smoothly. My heart grieved deeply but that wasn’t shone outwardly. Not because I am wary of showing emotions but it took time to really sink in. Like you, I had moments, a handful really, where I just bawled missing my mom, missing her voice and our weekly chats. Knowing that she is with the Lord, without further disease & pain was my comfort, as He continues to be mine. Shalom, shalom.

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