Often, when someone goes to counselling, the counsellor often hears these words, “Please, tell me what I need to do to fix this. Maybe if I try harder”. Having something to do may feel good when a person is stuck, and their problems seem overwhelming. But there are few times when we have the ability and resources to truly fix our troubles. Trying harder never solves everything. Counselling will eventually explore what wise actions are helpful and appropriate. But there is something more fundamental that can come first.
Matthew 11:28–30 is a good place to turn. Jesus 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.”
Initially, this might seem an odd place to go. It offers no obvious path to “solving” anything. The idea that we should stop and consider this invitation from Jesus might seem passive, even unhelpful. But it is very active: “Come. Take. Learn.”
Is Jesus speaking to you here? Is He describing your experience? Where do you feel weary and burdened? If He is putting words to your experience, is there any reason why you think He may not be speaking to you personally? If Jesus is speaking to you, what is your reaction to this invitation?
Jesus calls you to come to Him. If you are hesitant to do this, remember that He is gentle. Remember that He is humble. He is the safest place for you to go in your struggle.
Jesus will give you rest. Relief does not come by our own efforts or through changing our circumstances. Only Jesus has the power to give lasting rest—rest to our souls. This is the rest we ultimately long to have and the rest He longs to give to us.
Jesus calls you to learn from Him. This means He has things to teach you that will help you. This is good news. Jesus delights in sharing these good things with us.
Jesus invites you to take up His yoke. If this sounds like another burden, remember that Jesus started the conversation by acknowledging that you are already weary and burdened. You’ve already been wearing the hard yoke and carrying heavy burdens. His yoke is different.
Are you facing a struggle that is eating away at you? Would you be willing to go to Jesus, rest in Him, and learn from Him this week? It may not seem like that will solve all your problems, and it won’t, but resting in Christ is always the starting point. Part of what Jesus will teach you are the appropriate and helpful action steps for a problem. But you need Him first.