28 “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.”
All of us have probably had the experience of feeling like everything depends on us. Maybe it’s after a long time in caregiving role, or a leadership position, or even doing a task around the house that no one else seems willing to take on. We can do these things for a while without too much trouble. But all of us have a point where we get tired of carrying the world on our shoulders. We hit that wall when we’ve had enough. We need a break. We need a rest.
Often, we notice our need for a time out when we begin saying to ourselves, “Why is no one helping me?” Maybe that voice kicks in when we begin feeling underappreciated or taken for granted. Perhaps what tips us over the edge is a passive-aggressive comment or a complaint we overhear about the work we’ve been doing.
When we feel desperate, exasperated, or exhausted, we all need two things: a moment for ourselves and a listening ear where we can vent our frustrations. In this famous passage from Matthew’s gospel, Jesus offers us both.
He offers us both, because in prayer, that moment can be one and the same. Because let’s be honest: sometimes, there’s just no one around to give you the relief you need. But here’s the good news: when you are alone and struggling, even five or ten minutes spent talking to Jesus can renew your spirit and allow you to keep going. The best part is: you can do this whenever and wherever you need it.
This is the rest that Christ offers. And it is the rest that we all sometimes need.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Is there someone you know who may be feeling exhausted and exasperated today? Is there a friend or family member who needs to hear this word? Maybe take a moment to reach out, remembering that more than anything, what they need is a moment to themselves and a listening ear.
Prayer: Thank you for listening to us – whenever and wherever we call out to you. Thank you for offering us rest and hope in the embrace of your love. Amen.