For millenials we are beginning to taste what it means to actually be tired. It’s not like in high school when we had all the free time in the world with exception of a few homework assignments and getting to school by 8:00 AM near every day.
Transition a few years and we face the prospect of completing ten page papers and overcoming, and hopefully ace, our slew of midterms. Pair that with organizational obligations and an attempt to have a thriving social life and we find we face a formidable opponent.
The state of being tired as a result of a lack of sleep and/or overexertion of personal self becomes a painful reality to take in. At the end of the week, perhaps even day, we are left tired, broken, and deprived of a joy we know we ought to have, but don’t currently possess.
We try what we can to defeat this Goliath we find standing before us; the ability to manage time, get the proper amount of sleep, and finding a couple of devoted friends to stand by us become crucial and sought after.
These solutions seem to remedy our state of being tired, but sometimes it’s not enough. What, actually, is rest?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Real rest, rest in God, is active. This is paradoxical to our millenial minds because rest is connoted to be anything, but active. We are tempted to think that video games, Netflix, and simply relaxing are going to be our long term solution to our heavy state of being tired. These activities or states of being are not inherently detrimental or sinful; rather, they are a mere shortcoming of what real rest actually is.
The language in Matthew is an action verb, “come“; it denotes that we are to come Jesus with our burdens and, in turn, receive rest from the King himself. What does coming to Jesus look like?
In order to find rest for our troubled souls, and ultimately peace, we worship our Maker. We must declare his character, his goodness, and his sovereignty. Alas, this is a troubled world we live in full of suffering, shortcoming, and pain. However, when we take our eyes off ourselves and towards the Maker and Creator of heaven and earth, we are reminded that our troubles are remedied by a King concerned for his children and, ultimately, that our problems prove to be trivial for a God who holds the world in his hands.
Rest is actively coming to Christ, laying our burdens, and declaring his sovereignty over our lives. His righteousness, goodness, and loveliness are far too sweet to trade for the bitter tastes of attempting to simply withstand suffering and pain.