"Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28 Sounds great! Why is it so hard to do?
We all have moments when our spirit could really use a rest. We all have moments when our hearts have been bested by our sin, our struggles, and the general beating that life often has to offer. We all have moments when we feel attacked by our past, held down by our present, and fearful of our future. Some of us live weary and heavy-laden, and this passage sounds like the most amazing freedom. Our hearts jump at the possibility.
But for the most part, our hearts remain weary and rest remains a "possibility"; never a reality. Why is it so hard to actually come to God? Why is coming to Jesus for rest so difficult?
First of all, it's humiliating. We feel like peasants before God; utterly unworthy of the rest he offers. We see ourselves in the reality of our filth. We look at our sin and our predicament, and it paralyzes us. We stay back and grovel just outside of Jesus' presence because we know we are unworthy, but we have convinced ourselves we are worthless, and there is a difference. We stay just outside of Jesus' open arms, which offer our weary hearts rest because we fear rejection. We fear ourselves to be too filthy, too broken, and too far gone.
But Jesus still calls out to us, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden." So he knows our predicament. He sees our filth. He realizes what has worn us down and languished our soul, and he STILL calls out to us to come to him.
It is only hard to come to Jesus for rest because we would rather stay in sorrow than to accept God's GRACE that says, "I know you are weary, filthy, and broken, and I love you so much. Please come to me, and I will love the hell out of you."