Come and Rest
Breezewood is a small town in western Pennsylvania, located at the intersection of two major highways. It has been called “the city of motels.” Every year, millions of travelers exit the highway in Breezewood, looking for a chance to rest. Even though the population of the town is only 1,413, it is estimated that 1,000 people are employed there in restaurants, gas stations, or hotels. When you drive into Breezewood, your eyes are assaulted everywhere with signs for hotels, advertising the price of a room and the amenities to be enjoyed. Each sign, in its own way, proclaims the same message – “Come here and find rest.”
This is the same message Jesus proclaimed. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). When Jesus said those words, he was offering more than a good night’s sleep or a hot meal. Jesus was offering rest for our souls – lasting relief from weariness, anxiety, guilt, and shame.
The “soul rest” offered by Jesus is the very thing we all need. Everyone has felt the inner longing to know that we are accepted, loved, and protected. Scripture teaches that this longing will only be fulfilled, at its deepest level, when we place our trust in Christ. Jesus offers rest to anyone who will simply come to him.
We need to be aware, however, that false offers of rest will clamor for our attention. Sometimes these offers can drown out the invitation of Christ.
Just as hotel signs in Breezewood compete for people’s business, these offers of rest call to us from every side. To those who are anxious, alcohol says, “I will give you rest.” To those who feel inadequate, pornography promises the same thing. People who are lonely often seek rest in empty hours of scrolling through social media posts. Workaholism, eating disorders, wasted evenings in front of a TV – all of these can result from us looking for “soul rest” in the wrong places.
Have you been deceived by a false offer of rest? If you have, you are not alone. We all know what it is like to seek safety, satisfaction, or significance in something other than God.
But the good news is that, even if you have sought rest in the wrong place, Christ’s loving invitation to you still stands. He says to you today, “Come to me. Find true rest. Come to me.”
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