“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:29
Will Give Rest – Jesus gives rest like no other. Why? Because He knows exactly how you were designed and what purpose you are to serve. No one, not even you, knows more precisely what you need to be satisfied. But wait! This kind of rest isn’t swinging in a hammock. It’s not the cessation of activity. It is work that refreshes. You see, God’s plan has always been that Man should work in ways that refresh. That’s the kind of rest Jesus offers.
Let’s take a closer look.
Jesus elaborates the Father’s perfect plan for Man. In that plan, the Potter designed each of us for a particular use. We fulfill our essential purpose only when we are used as we were designed. Yes, you can carry water in a hat, but a hat was designed for something else. Here’s a test of your personal design. Are you refreshed in your work? Are you perfectly comfortable with your service and purpose, discovering that it energizes you? Or are you exhausted from trying to carry water in a hat?
The Greek here actually helps us see the nuance. Anapauso comes from ana (again) and pauo (to rest, cease). It means “Relax!” That’s not the same as “Stop!” The idea is to find that place of comfortable purpose where activity satisfies. When Jesus offers us rest, He does not mean that we quit doing things. He means that He, and only He, can arrange the universe so that we become who we are. We rest because we are doing exactly what we were meant to do. It is the second wind in our effort, when we are suddenly in the groove and things just come easily.
There is a first rest. God made all that there is – and rested. He ceased His creative activities in that phase of existence. The Sabbath honors God’s first rest because the Sabbath honors God’s sovereign creative power. But there is a second rest – a rest that comes from fulfilling the purpose of creation. God rested when He completed all that was necessary for His purposes to be fulfilled. Now Jesus offers us the second rest, the state of being where our activity fulfills God’s purposes, glorifying Him and satisfying us.
Maybe that’s why the author of Hebrews tells us to work in order to enter into that rest. Maybe that’s why Jesus tells us to come (an action) to Him in order to find that rest. We are weary of the road. We have tried so long to find the real reason for our lives – and we have failed. We are not capable of discovering that reason without the hand of the Potter shaping us for His use. We are heavy laden. We carry a load of mistakes, guilt, shattered dreams, disappointments and obligations. Most of them are the direct or indirect result of not being used for the Potter’s purposes. We have tried again and again to carry water in hats, but the cistern is not full. We know exactly how much emptiness remains in our lives, and we know that unless we find the use that we are meant to fulfill, the emptiness will never leave us.
“Come to Me.” Jesus promises to give us exactly the usefulness that we are missing – the rest of our lives.
Topical Index: Rest