“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matt 11:28 NASB).
If you are weary and feel burdened, Jesus invites you to come to Him for rest.
He does not specify what kind of burden you must have, how heavy it must be, or how tired you must feel to qualify to come. I think Jesus left those issues vague on purpose not to make anyone feel as though he’s been excluded. Jesus wants everyone to come, including you.
If you feel wearied or burdened by anything, to any degree, just go to Him in faith (cf. John 5:40).
It is safe to say that absolutely everyone qualifies for this invitation. Don’t we all feel tired? Don’t we all have a thousand things weighing on our shoulders? Burdens such as sicknesses and medical expenses, stock market crashes, war in Eastern Europe, violence at home, lockdowns and shortages, not to mention your inability to control feelings of anger, anxiety, frustration, or depression.
If that’s you, then Jesus says, “Come.”
You have those burdens, but you might not have told anyone about them. Instead, you keep them secret—hidden from even your closest friends and family, so you suffer in silence, wrongly thinking, “I can fix this on my own,” or worse, “No one can help me with this.” If that’s you, then give up the efforts at self-salvation and “Come.” (I would also strongly recommend telling someone you know about what you’re experiencing!)
And let’s be honest, you probably aren’t aware of all you’re carrying. In a theological meditation on the work of Alcoholics Anonymous, John Zahl noted that whatever problems the alcoholic thinks he has, he soon discovers the situation is worse than he imagined:
whatever his particular set of troubles, they are probably only the tip of the iceberg. Whatever the presenting symptoms of “a life unmanageable” may be, they almost always point back in upon themselves to a deeper cancer at the root of our being, a cancer that must be exposed and confronted before there can be any talk of the symptoms improving (Zahl, Grace in Addiction, p. 32).
Likewise, I have found that the more I go to Jesus with my burdens, the more burdens I discover. My iceberg goes down deep! Year by year, I discover more worries, problems, and struggles. And I also (slowly) learn about the rest that Jesus gives. You probably will, too. So don’t wait another second. Go to Jesus, and He will give you rest.
However, to avoid false advertising charges, I should forewarn you that Jesus’ promise of “rest” does not equate to “a trouble-free life.” On the contrary, He promised we would have trouble in the world (John 16:33). You receive His rest in the midst of trouble.
You might be asking, “What kind of rest does Jesus give?” And while the commentators give a range of confident answers, as far as I can see, Jesus seems to leave the matter as open as He does with the type of burdens you might carry.
Jesus is bigger than what ails you and stronger than what weighs you down.
I am confident that Jesus can provide you with whatever rest you need.
So go to Him.