I was returning home from a distressing hospital visit to a dying friend, feeling burdened and sad; I so needed a hug. An easy detour took me to the home of another friend, who opened her door and [after one look at my face] her arms and her heart. She was available, and it was comforting and steadying. Yahshua knows how important this kind of availability is, and He encouraged, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28, emphasis added]. What an amazing, open-hearted invitation!
We often hear this scripture used to encourage the sinner to come to Yahshua, and to find rest in Him. However, as with everything that Yahshua said, we can find hidden layers of meaning. A translation from the Aramaic reads, “Come to Me, all you who are tired out and carrying burdens…” Life can be exhausting, and the things that tire us out are complex and infinite; sometimes it is the weariness of extended illness or the exhaustion of pain. Sometimes it can be the burden of being unable to help a loved one as we would like; or the problems of making ends meet, selling a house, finding a job. Then there is the exhaustion of loss, with the added grief of learning to live without a loved one! “Come to Me, all you who are tired out… and I will give you rest.”
The Psalmist wrote, “You rule the raging of the sea; When its waves rise, you still them.” [Psalm 89:9]. Did these words come back to Yahshua when His panic-stricken disciples woke Him during a dreadful storm, shouting, “Save us, or we’ll drown!”? [Matthew 8:23-27]. He stilled the waves; He gave them rest. There always will be waves, life always will have its disturbances; each of us is on a personal journey of learning to trust Yahweh and turn to Yahshua. In the same way that I detoured to the house of a friend when I was in need, so I must learn to ‘detour’ to my beloved Friend when I am tired out, or the waves seem overwhelming. He is available; He won’t be asleep!
Photo by Fifaliana