Eunice / Reflections

Come away with me

For the past two months, I have had Matthew 11:28-30 constantly on my heart.

“Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest…For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

For the past two months, I kept coming to Him so heavily burdened. And I would say to Jesus, “My Lord, I do not understand. I feel so heavily burdened. I do not understand how your burden is light.” And He would love me in that. I would just sit with Him and let Him love me and wrestle with His promises.

Then, just a week or so ago, I got a call from a woman who is a dear friend to my heart and a true disciple. She is beautiful and always inspires me to TRUST Him and wade deeper into His grace-filled ocean. Since before I even knew Jesus, she spoke truth into my heart that it couldn’t even understand. Her phone call came at the perfect time. She asked if she could share a scripture passage that had been shared with her recently. Before she even began to read, I asked her if it was from Matthew 11:28-30. Of course, it was. The Holy Spirit works in ways we may never truly understand.

She read to me Matthew 11:28-30 from the version of the Bible called The Message…

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

“Learn the unforced rhythms of grace…” How beautiful! My soul already longed to hear this. Over the past couple of days, I have sat with this scripture, pondering it and savouring it like chocolate melting slowly on my tongue. I couldn’t get enough. He just kept pouring out His love on me.

///

I share this all with you because next weekend, I will be entering into my first silent retreat. For five blissful and slightly scary days, I will be entering silence or the ‘poustinia’ as Catherine Doherty would say. It is akin to sneaking out the window and escaping for a little bit with Him. And as I prepare for this, I hear Jesus asking me, “Are you tired? Come away with me. Watch how I do it. Find REAL rest for your soul.”

I’m excited and terrified of this silence so please pray for me! But I also wanted to extend the invite and encourage you to take this same retreat away from the busyness. Whatever you can take – take five minutes, an hour, a day, 24 hours, 5 days, or more to rest in Him. He is just waiting for us and we are so content to keep walking around carrying enormous loads. If your life is crazy right now, all the more reason to take some time away! He won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on us. “Come away with me,” He says, “Sneak out the back window.”

// E.

Here are a couple songs on my heart for you to lay your burdens down to…

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3 thoughts on “Come away with me

  1. Thank you for the post, great! Oddly enough, I stumbled upon a reflection on the same passage shortly after reading yours. If I may, here it is:

    “Everybody needs rest. There is no man that can go without sleep, or food or water without eventually dying out [except maybe the mystic Saints, but they are exceptional]. Everyone more or less requires the same amount of sleep, and requires daily nutrition. This is mindless and automatic. Very few of us have to remind ourselves to sleep or eat or rest. Rest for the body is something that everyone just does, and yes, it is necessary.

    Rest for the soul is just as necessary, yet most of us rarely get the rest we need. In fact, we oftentimes fail to even recognize our need for “soulful” rest, let alone seek it. Rest for the soul, in many senses, is more vital than rest for the body. For one, it is not easily recognizable when rest is needed, and so it is much easier to reach a point of spiritual exhaustion. Second, the soul is eternal. As much as you rest your body, it will still eventually die. All we’re really doing is postponing the death we know is coming. The soul lasts forever, so really we should rest it above all else.

    In the Gospel (Matt 11: 25-30), Jesus says to come to Him to find rest. What did He mean? Did He mean He was providing nap times? Or massages? Or relaxing meditations? NO! Jesus was speaking about rest for the soul.

    Again, rest for the body is different from rest for the soul. The former is generally static, where burdens are objectively understood (ex. everyone knows lunges are a pain to do). The latter is fluid, where burdens are understood subjectively – rested souls can endure [and enjoy] a spiritual burden more easily than a soul that is exhausted, though the exact same burden.

    But here is the key: Jesus promised rest for the soul, but didn’t say He would take away the burdens. He says that if we come to Him, we WILL find rest. When we come to Jesus, our burdens may remain. What changes is how we approach them. Through the eyes of Jesus, and with His burning heart, we are filled with so much love that the same burdens we previously detested become blessings and gifts.

    What Jesus says is this: “Come to me with all that tires your soul and I will infuse you with My Love so that you may see all things as blessings from My Father. Where there is love, there is no labour.”

    Coming to Jesus with our burdens, problems, anxieties, etc. doesn’t necessarily change what is to be endured. WE are changed, for what we are enduring becomes encompassed with Love.”

    God bless in your poustinia!

    • Thank you again for this beautiful reflection to the reflection! Yes, great point identifying the difference between rest for the soul and rest for the body as we are body and soul after all. How does that happen – rest for the soul? Not as easy as you mentioned to be aware of this! And yes, love your point about how He doesn’t necessarily take our burdens away, but we are changed and given what we need to embrace them. Thank you! – E.

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