[Jesus said] Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
President Abraham Lincoln once described how tired he felt. “Nothing could touch the tired spot within,” he said, “which was all tired.”
None of us has ever faced what President Lincoln had to face, of course. Nevertheless, his description of how he felt might touch a nerve with more than a few of us. As you read or listen to this devotion, perhaps you’re on vacation. Perhaps you’re enjoying some downtime or getting ready to dive into a favorite hobby. Or maybe you’re just looking forward to a good night’s sleep or at least a good nap. Whatever it is, enjoy it. Each, in its own way, is a gift of refreshment from God.
But it could also be that, at this moment, you have your own version of “the tired spot” that nothing can touch. It’s the kind of tired that no vacation, hobby, or good night’s sleep will remove.
That’s what sin can do—your sin and mine. The sinfulness of this broken world and the sinful failures of my own life can all roll together into a weariness difficult to describe. But the weariness is there. The weariness is deep.
But, listen to what Jesus tells us in our Bible reading for today, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.” Jesus, here, is speaking as someone who knows precisely the kind of profound weariness that sin can bring. For this reason, when Jesus says, “I will give you rest,” he’s describing the kind of rest he knows we need.
The rest he brings is not in the perfect vacation. It’s not in your favorite pastime. It’s not in a dreamless sleep. The rest he brings is himself. “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,” the prophet Isaiah said. In going to the cross on our behalf, not only has Jesus washed our sins away. He has also lifted from us the burden of guilt that went with those sins.
In its place? Himself. His forgiveness. His peace. His untiring love.
Lord, bless my moments of refreshment. Most of all, give me rest in you. Amen.