“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
When I read Matt 11:28-30, I couldn’t help but think not only my own experiences with receiving God’s rest, but also the story of the Canaanite woman…
“Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.’ Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, ‘Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.’ The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said. He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’ ‘Yes it is, Lord,’ she said. ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment.” (Matthew15:21-28 NIV)
This woman, when saying, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly”, was asking Jesus Christ to give her — REST!
Sometimes when we ask God for rest, He reveals His Word through our own mouths, through the written Word, or even through someone else, perhaps even our worst enemies (Remember that God used Saul – AKA Paul – one of the worst enemies of the newly-founded church, one of the key persecutors of new believers in Jesus Christ (SeeActs 2:22-39), to reveal His Word!). As a result, when God does reveal His will, we may not even recognize it.
How about you and I, are we finding rest for our souls?
How many times have we gone to God, begging for His mercy? Remember the Canaanite woman? “The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said.” Sometime, our recent dilemmas are still very much present in our lives when others show up on our plate. We look to the left and to the right for solutions. The woman, on the other hand, went straight to Jesus and refused to be discouraged. She refused to walk away.
This reminds me of God’s Word: “If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” (1 John 3:20-24 (NIV). This woman’s heart did not condemn her. She had confidence before God. Instead of turning away, she said, “Yes it is, Lord…Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” (Matt. 15:27 NIV)
How would you respond in her situation? What would my own response be?
I pray that I will respond to God like the woman: “Yes, Heavenly Father, I am an undeserving woman, a refugees, an orphan; I am unskillful and alone. May I receive compassion, mercy, grace, forgiveness and love from the Creator Heaven and earth!”
Prayer: Lord, I want to be find rest for my soul. I want to be anointed to Your call, according to Your will. In the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names, Amen.
How about you? Will you pray this prayer with me?
Sophie Chun Ngeth
San Bernardino, CA