01 Feb 1999

The Invitation to Retreat and Rest

As we approach the period when those who love Jesus remember His death on the cross for the sins of the world, and His resurrection from the dead after three days, let us think about the meaning of resting in God. In our March 1999 Update, we shall consider afresh the meaning of Jesus’ Gethsemane experience which took place 2000 years ago, but accutely relevant to men, women and children today.

Jesus said: "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

At the first hearing of Jesus' invitation, the disciples probably shrunk from it. Why? Most men, women and children in those days in Judea had seen animals being harnessed under heavy yokes to plough the earth or pull heavily loaded carts. Many of us in Malaysia who visited padi fields before the seventies would have memories of such scenes too. Who in his right mind would want to be yoked, any way...

"No freedom-lah!"

Yet, how easy it is for us to transfer our usual way of thinking and images to the true God and His thoughts and ways. Meanwhile, we willingly submit to the tangible yokes of this world whether they be in the form of people, places, things, ideas, pleasure or comfort, ambition or popularity... yokes that absorb the energy God gives to be released to love Him, self and others for Him.

But, "No, No," Jesus seemed to be saying to them. "When I say 'yoke', I do not mean the yoke of work. Rather, I mean the freedom of attaching yourself to Me, Your source of life, love, acceptance, understanding, forgiveness, healing, restoration and energy, instead of attaching yourself to others. So, My friends, do not be afraid to come to Me; to in Me. Simply be faithful in the little or much I give to you and leave the results to Me. You are not responsible for the results; I am. So, come, rest in Me."

His words were so simple and yet so quickly misunderstood by His disciples then and now. As a result, many of us do not experience His rest, His joy and His peace regularly.

ReconRe seeks to be a reminder...and only as a reminder of Jesus' invitation to rest in Him and with Him.

Photographer: Teresa Wong