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1 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
lay down, O weary one, lay down
your head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary, worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.
2 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.
3 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s light;
look unto me; your morn shall rise
and all your day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus, and I found
in him my star, my sun;
and in that light of life I’ll walk
till traveling days are done.
Each of the three stanzas has two parts: the first half quotes Jesus' words, and the second half testifies to the personal experience of responding to Christ. The entire text invites us to accept what Jesus offers: rest from our burdens (st. 1), living water to quench our thirst (st. 2), and light for life's journey (st. 3).
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook
When we receive God’s pardon, we find ourselves at peace with him and at rest again. When the benefits of Christ are made ours, “They are more than enough to absolve us of our sins” and we need no longer look “for anything apart from him” (Belgic Confession, Article 22). We have “freedom from sin’s dominion” (Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 25) and we understand that we are “set free from all [our] sins and misery…” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2). We are “righteous before God and heir to everlasting life” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 23, Question and Answer 59).