Sometimes life gets tiring – you work hard and put in long hours. But it just seems like you are never done. What you need is a break – a pick-me-up – a little rest along the way.
Jesus knew what it was to be exhausted after a long day. In Matthew 11 we are told that Jesus was being accused of being a glutton and a winebibber – that He was a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Then it says that the very cities were He had done most of His miracles were turning their backs on Him in unbelief. It must have been disappointing…and tough. He was working long hours and expending Himself for the people, but they were indifferent and critical.
So Matthew tells us that Jesus simply went to His Father in prayer and refreshed Himself in the Father’s presence. After that He gave an invitation for us to do the same with Him. He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Now, that is a welcomed thought, indeed! There is a place to find rest in the midst of our labors.
The word “labor” is a Greek word that means “to become weary and tired; to feel fatigued. This verb comes from a noun that literally means “to cut” (by way of reducing the strength).
To be fatigued is to cut your energy by 80 or 90 per cent. You feel tired and weary. I am sure you have had days where you end up being totally exhausted. Well, that is what Jesus is referring to:
- when the world presses in on you – with tough days and long hours
- when there are misunderstanding and criticisms – and you’re just wear of it all
- when you’ve labored and are heavy laden
Jesus says, “Come unto me…and I will give you rest.”
Now you know the real meaning of the word.
Say – Quiet times with the Lord are very refreshing – like an oasis in the middle of the desert.