Rest. It seems like such a simple word! But for a lot of people, it has to be almost forced. Unfortunately, I have always been one of those people.

When it seems like resting should come naturally, especially at my age, I feel like I’m amping up the stakes and putting in more than I ever did as a young person. Don’t get me wrong. I am SO THANKFUL to be able to do what I do. I don’t look at my busyness with disdain! Quite the opposite, really! I love to be busy with things that MATTER.

On the other hand, I know that rest is important. And there are times when I have to talk myself into it, even though it feels so foreign.

Jesus Speaks of Rest

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

It’s an open invitation to come to Him, when we are in the very midst of our burden. And HE is the one that supplies rest. But he goes on in the next verse, Matthew 11:29 to say, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Many people think of the “yoke” mentioned here as one that is seen on a beast of burden. But this word, zygos, in the Greek (Strong’s G2218), also means a balance or a scale.

a golden balance scale beside a laptop

Getting the Right Balance

Doesn’t it make sense, though? That Jesus would use a word that signifies “balance”? And then to go on and say, “learn of me” as a precursor to our finding rest?

I love the Greek word and meaning behind “rest” (Strong’s G372): cessation of labor. So, putting it together, considering the root meaning of the original words, the thought conveyed is that if we will take on Jesus’ balance, and learn of Him, we will find rest!

But you know what’s even more interesting? That last word… soul.

Rest for your Soul

The Greek word from which soul is translated is G5590, or “psyche”. On the one hand, it can be translated as the very breath of life, or the force by which the body is animated.

But that doesn’t make sense in this particular setting, does it?

The definition that makes the most sense is the soul, as the seat of feelings, desires, etc. THAT is what we see affected by this rest that is spoken of here. And don’t you love it? Rest for the body is one thing. But how many of us know that we can lay in the bed, still as can be, and never see one iota of rest?!

Learning to Rest

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to rest purposefully. But after studying this out for this Gratitude Challenge, I’ve come to see a side of the coin I have needed more than anything else! That my resting needs to be soul-deep. I think that’s where it makes the most difference, don’t you?

person wearing pair of black slides
Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Join the Gratitude Challenge?

It’s not too late to join the gratitude challenge if you’d like! Take a look at the graphic below, and click on this link to find out more about it! You can also follow the #gratituderipples hashtag on Instagram to see the many posts going up for this amazing challenge.

Hope to see you there!

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