God knows us, doesn’t He? He knows our penchant for busyness and our bent toward distraction. He knows how we use the first to feed the second and that the end result is a heart turned in on itself–weary and worn from the endless work of self-seeking and self-exaltation. So, in His goodness, He offers an exchange–rhythm and rest for our busy and distracted hearts. For the Israelites, the rhythms were marked clearly on the calendar. There was a day of rest each week to re-center their lives around the Lord and a calendar full of feasts to remind the people what the Lord had done for them. These were days and times to pause from ordinary work and remember what it means to be the people of God.
In Matthew 12, Jesus would talk about Himself as the “lord of the Sabbath,” but before that, He also offered an invitation for us to rest. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Jesus knows our penchant for busyness and our bent toward distraction. He knows that what you need isn’t another task on an already endless to-do list but the presence of the One who rested and offers rest to you. He also knows that you’re still prone to choose the first before the second. Even reading through the Bible can become another task on the list, with the goal being to do instead of to be. To the weary and heavy laden, the lord of the Sabbath extends an invitation: come to Him, trust Him, and receive rest for your soul.