“Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” ~Jesus (Matthew 11:28ff)
Rest is not something I do very naturally. Even during those times when I am not actively pursuing a goal, my mind is on to the next step – dreaming, planning, worrying. It’s usually only when a physical ailment hits, that I shut myself off in my bedroom and let myself just be quiet. My Type A personality doesn’t like taking time off very often.
But I am learning to rest. More specifically, I am learning to rest in Jesus’ loving embrace; to sit with him and listen to his tender speech, to feel his arms wrapped ever so gently around me in embrace that is both secure and empowering.
Rest that is empowering? Seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? But the more I allow myself to just sit with Jesus, the more I find that I am buoyed by Him. Paul’s words, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” become so much more true as I learn to bring my troubles to Jesus and rest in Him. I can handle so much more when I am pulling my strength from Jesus, instead trying to do it by myself.
I am even finding that, in the midst of all the busy-ness and chaos of life, I can still rest in Jesus. I can find those moments to breathe in His fragrance, to hand over the anxieties and pressures that this life brings.
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. (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message)
I’ve had this Scripture pinned on the bulletin board above my computer for about a month now. And I am learning to live freely and lightly – even in the midst of manic days and restless nights that seem par for the course in this phase of life.
There are still days when the anxiety creeps in, when I am more focused on what needs to be done than on bringing myself to Jesus and learning from Him. But the more focused I become on following Jesus, the easier it becomes to be less worried about “all that stuff” as I am focusing on the God-stuff (and “all that stuff” still gets done!).
So, if I may paraphrase broadly:
“Come to me, and I will give you rest that will empower and strengthen you for all is yet to be done.”
Amen and amen.