“Come to me,” Jesus says to us. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens.” (Matthew 11:28) When I read this verse a picture pops into my head of my mom. I picture her reaching her arm out to me, and pulling me in close, hugging me tight.
The nearness of my mother, the gentleness of her comforting embrace always helped to reassure me that I would be okay. When my mom reached out her arms to me, and hugged me the heaviness of what I was carrying melted away. The pain of my skinned knees lifted, the pain of heartache softened. In the gentle arms of my mom’s embrace I felt safe, cared for, understood, comforted and known.
When Jesus calls out to us, “Come to me,” that is what He offers to us as well. The embrace of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ comforts even beyond the comfort of a mother to a child. It is a comfort that understands and knows core, heart, soul, mind and spirit needs. And in his presence, in His embrace he meets each and every need.
The heaviness melts away when we come to Jesus.
Jesus is gentle with us, as a mother is gentle with her child. When He meets us in our neediness, Matthew 11:29 tells us that he has something to teach us at the point and place of our neediness.
He said in verse 29, “Let me teach you. For I am humble and gentle in heart.”
Jesus wants to learn from him, in the same way that we learn about life from our mothers.
He wants to teach us what surrender looks like. He wants to teach us, as he is our example, what it looks like to come with our whole selves – broken, needy, hurting, desperate as we are. Just as he himself went wholly before his Father God.
Jesus is gentle with us because he understands. He’s been in our shoes, and like a big brother, he wants to teach us what He has learned and experienced through His relationship with the Father God. Jesus learned that coming before God in humility, surrendering his will to the will of the Father, that he would find rest and He would be blessed.
And that is what he promises for us when we come to him, weariness and all, and give ourselves to Him, accepting his warm and gentle embrace. Matthew 29:11b says, “and you will find rest for your souls.”
Notice that the resting doesn’t come before the surrender. The resting only comes after the exchange of our burdens for the yoke of surrender. The yoke of following after Jesus – his example of being humble in surrender to the will of his Father.
Does your soul need rest today? Do you need to feel a gentle embrace that melts away the heaviness of the burdens you have been carrying?
What would it look like for you to come before the Father God and give your heaviness and your burdens over to Him? What would it look like to practice surrender today?
What would it look like to choose to not try and fix, repair, mend, solve, strive, or prepare? What would it look like today to simply respond to Jesus’ calling and “Come”? What needs to change in your life today in order for you to experience rest for your soul?
Maybe you feel like this isn’t possible for you? Maybe you feel like it won’t work for you because you have too many responsibilities, kids, and work and serving and, and, and.
The rest is available. The choice is ours. I can’t make it for you and you can’t make the choice for me. We each have to respond to the gentle, loving call to “come” and say yes to Jesus, say yes to surrendering.
I want to choose today to hand over my heart, broken as it is, knowing that I can trust God with my heart. I can trust him to hold me gently, like my mom would, and rest knowing the heaviness will fade away in his loving presence. Will you choose to “come” to him also? Will you join me in this prayer?
Lord my God,
I come before you this morning with a willing heart of surrender before you. I choose to give my heart, my heaviness, my burdens over to you and allow you to embrace me – all of me. I pray for every person who reads this article that they would have a supernatural encounter with you today as they choose to surrender their burdens to you.
Help us Lord to learn from Jesus, to learn what surrender looks like from His example so that we can in turn experience rest for our souls that we long for. Help us to not make excuses, help us to stop trying to carry, fix and heal ourselves and others around us. May we give it all over to you capable hands today.
Restore us, heal us, and help us to feel the comfort of your loving arms surrounding us. May we not be afraid to bring our whole selves to you – broken and needy. Help us to accept all that you have for us – love, peace, joy, hope and comfort.
In the mighty name of Jesus I pray, Amen and amen.
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