What do you picture when you see yourself at peace? I suspect many of you conjure up a mental image similar to mine. I picture myself in paradise. It is the perfect temperature, my villa is oceanside, I am by the pool (yes, and the beach). I get to do whatever I want. I can snorkel off my own beach. I have perfectly ripe tropical fruit to eat at all times. I do not have to cook or clean. I can golf when I want (I am a better golfer in my dreams than I am in real life. Therefore, no golf frustration. Only pars and birdies).
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:28-29 (CSB)
Peace. Rest. Isn’t this what we are all looking for? How do we find it?
In order to find rest, contentment, peace, assurance – we must come to Him. How? We cannot come with our own demands or expectations. We must come willingly, humbly, and empty. We are to take up His yoke and to learn from Him. From the outside looking in, would you see walking in His steps as carefree? Me neither. What are we missing?
The funny thing is…… We have been to Hawaii several times. We go to the beach. We buy fruit at local markets. We snorkel, weather permitting. We eat at beachfront restaurants. We do not golf (thus saving the frustration). We are always ready to come home after our 9-day stay and get back to life. We enjoy these vacations, but they do no satisfy our deepest needs.
What Jesus offers us in way of peace and contentment is not infinite, unending, self-indulgence. He offers us to come to Him to be filled and empowered. To come to Him requires us to change. We must confess, repent, be filled, and follow. To take up His yoke includes switching our allegiance from this world and our selfish ambitions, to Him and His purposes. It is not an invitation to endless vacation. It is an invitation to a life of meaning, purpose, and obedience. He promises that this is the place of peace. It is not to escape this world, but to encounter this world as He does.