Summary: There is a rest that is known only when we learn to come to Christ and to take up His yoke.
I love the “Peanuts” characters and comic strip, probably because I can so easily relate to Charlie Brown. In one of his strips, Charlie visits Lucy at her psychology booth, and she gives him this advice: “Life is a lot like a deck chair. Some place it to see where they have been, and some so they can see where they are at the present.” To which Charlie sighs, and says: “I can’t even get mine unfolded.”
Do you feel a little like that today? Burnt out? Used up? Worked over?
Someone recently said: “Much of our activity these days is nothing more than a cheap anesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty life.”
And another put it this way: “The trouble with life is that it is so daily!”
James Dobson calls the daily grind – the straight life. He describes it this way:
“The straight life for a homemaker is washing dishes three hours a day; it is cleaning sinks and scouring toilets and waxing floors; it is chasing toddlers and mediating fights between preschool siblings. . . . The straight life is driving your station wagon to school and back 23 times per week; it is grocery shopping and baking cupcakes for the class Halloween party. The straight life eventually means becoming the parent of an ungrateful teenager which I assure you is no job for sissies. (It’s difficult to let your adolescent find himself – especially when you know he isn’t even looking!)
The straight life . . . is pulling your tired frame out of bed, five days a week, fifty weeks out of the year. It is earning a two-week vacation in August, and choosing a trip that will please the kids. The straight life is coping with head colds and engine tune-ups and crab grass and income-tax forms.”
It wears us out even thinking about how much there is to do, and how little time to do it. I’m tired just thinking about it. How about you?
All of this stress leads many of us to adopt other alternatives to satisfy us and give us some relief. One of my favorites has been the stress diet. Have you tried it yet?
1 piece of whole wheat toast
8 oz. of skim milk
4 oz. of lean broiled chicken breast
1 cup of steamed zucchini
1 oreo cookie
rest of the Oreo cookies
1 qt of rocky road ice cream
I jar of hot fudge
2 loaves of garlic bread
large pepperoni pizza
large pitcher of root beer
3 milky ways
entire frozen cheesecake, eaten directly from the freezer
It is funny but true. We all look for some relief to the stress in our lives. A little peace, but like the old saying: “the only peace we find in this world is that glorious moment when everybody stops to reload.”
Is this what Jesus intended for us? Is this the abundant life He promised his disciples? Where is the Sabbath-rest proclaimed by the Lord?
The writer of the book of Hebrews put it this way:
“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.”
God invites us into His rest! Will we enter by faith!
Turn with me to the promise of rest found in Matthew 11:28-30
Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light."
I. THIS INVITATION IS FOR YOU!
Notice the open-wide invitation: “All who are weary and who carry heavy burdens!” Does this describe you in any way today?
How sad it is when people who are weary and weighed down in their lives don’t turn to Jesus. What might have happened if that several disturbed man who killed the innocent children in Lancaster County this week had turned to Jesus instead of his guns? He obviously was weary and weighed down with burdens from his past. He was tormented by the sin of his youth, and angry with God about the loss of a child born pre-maturely. But instead of turning to the only one who could help him, he buried his burdens deep within until they exploded in a violent rage.