Maybe it is because I am a mother, maybe it is because I haven’t had a full night sleep in over a year, maybe it is because I have always had a difficult time taking it easy, in any case, while I was reading I kept coming back to the word “rest” in Matthew 11:28-30:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG)
Rest is the cessation of work, exertion, or activity, peace, ease, refreshment, sleep, quiet relaxation, relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance, mental or emotional tranquility, etc. I understand the dictionary meanings, but I have never truly grasped what it is to rest. I am one of those A+ type personalities that is ALWAYS on the go. Even when I lay down to try and sleep, my mind is still running a marathon.
My husband can lay down and in less than 30 seconds (no exaggeration) be sound asleep. When I asked him how he does it he shared that he clears his mind of the things he cannot control by turning them over to God. I have a difficult time doing that. I turn them over, and then I end up taking them back a little while later. My mom suggests soaking prayer– a period of time to become thoroughly wet, saturated by immersing myself in God’s liquid love, really resting in His presence.
As I read in Job, I wondered had Zophar been ‘well rested’ would he have been so critical of his friend. If Job had been truly resting in God, would he have asked so many ‘whys’? I do believe that Job eventually learned how to rest in God’s presence, and as a result, his life was recovered, what was lost was fully restored and greatly blessed.
I know that in my exhaustion, I am not the best person I can be; I am not the best woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. I get frustrated easily, I lose my temper, I struggle with taking my thoughts captive, I am critical and controlling.
I know that something must change or my light will be hidden under a bushel. Even if I don’t know what it looks like now, I can learn from Jesus, in His gentleness, His humility, how to rest in Him second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day…I think I’m going to put myself in time-out.
Jesus, as you encouraged me, I will come to you. I am tired. I am worn out. I am burned out. In myself, I have nothing left to give anyone. Please, Lord, show me how to rest; not just physically, but teach me how to rest in You, in Your arms, in Your presence, even in the midst of my circumstances and the disturbances of my day. Show me what real rest truly is. I want to walk with you. I want to learn to live in freedom and in grace. Help me recover my life. Amen.
Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India