Do you ever get trapped on repeat when it comes to miserable emotions or obsessive thoughts? How do you break free? Jesus! Isn’t He the only answer? Yet sometimes it is hard to find the path to the freedom He promises.
Matthew 11:28-30 says: “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.” Rest for your soul is an inviting place to be. Like the constant scratch in the grove of a broken record your thoughts or emotions keep you from experiencing rest in your soul. There is no music.
Yet it is your soul that will set you free. You can find rest for your soul when you invite your soul to show you what you need to keep and what you need to leave behind. What is keeping you from rest for your soul? Is it an emotion like anger, hurt, betrayal? Is it a thought that nothing will ever get better?
Ask yourself: “What good and hard lesson can I discover from this unwanted emotion or thought?” Ask Jesus to show you why you won’t let go of the negative thought or emotion. Why are you so afraid to let go of something so destructive? Invite Him to guide, direct and heal you. Jesus knows that our lives are full of legitimate and harsh realities that create chaotic emotions and negative thoughts. He knows that we are weary and burdened. It doesn’t matter what burdens or wearies us; the solution is the same. Jesus asks us to take His yoke and learn from Him in order to find rest for our souls. What do we learn? We learn that this life is wearying and burdensome. Most of us find a way to overcome that reality with our own thoughts and emotional control. But there are times when we get to the end of ourselves and Jesus is there. He was there all along, but He never abandons us when our burdens and weariness overwhelm us. Rest for our souls is available.
Rest is found in the soul that come to Jesus. A focus on Jesus helps us release the power the emotions and thoughts have to entrap and disturb us. I’ve been reading the book Boundaries for Your Soul by Cook and Miller in which these two therapists guide readers through the process of finding rest for our souls. The back cover says: “Boundaries for Your Soul shows you how to calm the chaos within. This groundbreaking approach will help you know what to do when you feel overwhelmed, understand your guilt, anxiety, sadness, and fear, welcome God into the troubling parts of your soul, and move from doubt and conflict to confidence and peace.”
I never thought that my soul needed boundaries, but reading the book does makes sense. It reminded me of Jesus’ invitation to find rest for my soul. “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalm 61:2).”