“Come to me,” he calls, “All you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
I will refresh you.
I will revive you.
I will cause you to rest.
That last verb can be translated all of those ways. Rest is not something Jesus gives us apart from himself. It’s not a parcel that we can go off somewhere and unwrap. Rest only happens in the arms of Jesus. As Darrell Johnson often translates Jesus’ words, “Come to me . . . and I will rest you.”
I’ve had lots of moments this week of wanting to climb up on the lap of the One who welcomed children to sit on his knee, the One who promises to carry us from birth to death. “To enter the kingdom of heaven you must become like a child,” he says. “Make your home in my love,” he invites.
Want to join me there in his arms for a few minutes? His knee has space for many to snuggle in.
He reaches down to lift me up and sets me sideways on his lap. I lean into him, feeling his lap solid beneath me, the gentle roughness of his sweater against my face. His sweater, today, is the rich brown of fresh-turned earth. I feel safe with his strong arms around me, his warm, work-roughened hand gently holding my head to his chest, dimming the outside noise and helping me hear the soothing tune of his heartbeat: lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub.
His chest rises and falls with each breath, rocking me. I’m safe here in his arms, safe and warm and secure.
In and out he breathes. I rock with him, settling, beginning to breath more deeply too. His sweater smells fresh like the spring buds of the balsam poplar.
He rests his cheek against the top of my head, treasuring me, and I feel my hair flutter each time he exhales. He begins to hum a gentle tune, a lullaby of delight.
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)