Finding Rest in Following Jesus

As we continue following Jesus, we learn that we can find rest in Him. Matthew 11:29-30 says, “Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (CSB) Even amid an unsettling time, such as enduring quarantine during a pandemic where people are so full of fear, we can find rest.

There is a variety of types of rest. There is physical rest, where we need our eight hours of sleep for our bodies to rejuvenate. There is Spiritual rest, where we take the time to get alone with God and be refreshed by Him. This can include daily Bible study and prayer time, attending church, and fellowshipping with other Believers. Then there is emotional rest. Sometimes, I think this is the hardest to achieve. There are so many who are so in turmoil emotionally, that rest is the farthest thing from them.

We are seeing this so evident right now with the pandemic. People are fearful of something they can’t even see. We can see it on their faces, their expressions are full of anxiety and fear because they are afraid of getting the Coronavirus and dying. Some are in full-blown depression, pandemic or not, they feel like they are in a deep pit and can’t find a way out. The world is a dark place for them, and they have no hope. They have no desire to even participate in this thing we call “life.” For some, it is more than they can do just to get out of bed.

Depression such as this is debilitating. I have a new friend who is battling depression. She’s a Believer, but depression has taken hold. The enemy of our souls uses something like depression to defeat God’s children. Sometimes, it is a Spiritual issue, sometimes it is a chemical imbalance, there are various reasons for depression. My friend wants to get out of this pit, but she feels like it’s almost more than she can bear to try. She knows that Jesus is her source of peace, she knows that He can help her by taking the burden she is carrying (depression) and giving her a light burden to carry. I’m not a psychiatrist, but I think she is dealing with physical imbalances, and her depression has nothing to do with her Spiritual life. She knows Jesus and loves Him with all her heart. As much as I want to do something to help her; all I can do is pray for her, and that, most times, is more than any of us can do for someone.

Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy. He doesn’t require anything of us that would load us down. He desires to give us peace and rest. I think of Psalm 23:1-2, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (KJV) These verses speak peace and rest to me.

One time when I was on vacation out west, my husband and I were in Wyoming camping on the side of a mountain. When we woke in the morning my husband said, “It sounds like a crowd of people talking.” We looked outside our camper and saw a shepherd with his sheep on the side of the mountain. We walked over and talked to him for a while. It was so calm and peaceful, the bleating of the sheep and the quiet mountainside except for the sheep quietly saying, “Baa”. That scene brought peace and rest to me. Jesus is our Shepherd, He will take any burden we carry be it fear, depression, anger, anxiety, guilt, you name it…He will take it. Then He gives us His yoke, a light yoke, one that is not hard for us to bear and walks with us, shouldering the mountain we were carrying, so that we can have rest.

Take His yoke upon you, you will find rest!

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