Jesus said Come to me and I will give you rest.
After I read that, I think, Oh that’s nice. And then I move on to the next verse, the next chapter. For me, and many others, I think, rest is what comes after a busy day, when our heads finally hit the pillow.
But is that the kind of rest Jesus was talking about?
I will confess; I am deeply and franticly addicted to the To-Do List. I am not an organized soul by nature, but it seems functioning properly in life requires some method of organization. So I program my days and tasks the only way I know how; by making lists. (This is no lie: one day last week, I actually found myself making a list… of lists I needed to make!)
I do this when I have my quiet time, too. Planning and attempting to organize slowly pervades all areas of my life, and I begin making spiritual To-Do lists. It was during one of these feverish list-making sessions that God breathed over me those words… Come to me and I will give you rest. I want to give you rest, child, He said. Not another list.
My pen stopped its frenzied scribbling and I looked out the window from my cross-legged position on my bed. It was early morning, and the winter sun was slowly glimmering up through cold, barren trees. “But Lord…” I protested, “I just woke up. I’ve had my rest. Although I wouldn’t mind a little more…”
But I knew. As my fingers slowly began to thumb through past entries in my journal, I saw plea after desperate plea… and I knew what He was talking about.
I’m so tired. Physically and emotionally and mentally…
There’s nothing left inside. I need to be filled up, but instead I just keep pouring out.
Sleep is my favorite; I can escape responsibility and subsequent failure.
I’m quiet, inside and out. But not in a good way.
Page after page of my messy scrawl held the signs of spiritual exhaustion that I didn’t know how to cure. I had been planning a spiritual retreat – alone – but that wouldn’t be possible until spring.
I want to give you rest now.
It was as if my ears were hearing these words for the first time. Or maybe this time, they actually meant something to me. For rest means nothing to those who have never been soul-tired. Our spirits begin to crave a real and deep rest, totally unaffected by the hustle and bustle around us.
“Oh Lord,” My heart cried, “Give me rest. Rest from these iron expectations, these comfortably-padded chains. Give me rest from myself!”
Jesus reached near that morning, imploring me to slow down for just a moment so He could give me rest from the pressure, the guilt, the constant pouring out. Amazingly, He comes to each of us in a different way, amidst our own absurd circumstances… and presents a stunning offer:
Total and complete rest for the soul, and a burden that is light.
How could we not take Him up on it?
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”
– Matthew 16:26a
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.”
– Matthew 11:28 – 29
By Abbie, Abbie WritesLeave a Comment
I am guilty of this too. I keep on going, squeze in one more task and despite that will never be able to really “finish” my ‘ever-growing-list’. Today I will take some ‘me-time’ and will rest at HIS feet. – I actually will take this time right now.
Thank you for your encouragement.
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Thank you for a great reminder. I’m definitely a list person who kind of freaks out if lists don’t get crossed out.
It’s not the end of the world if they don’t get done.
And I know I’ll have peace about not getting them done, because It’s not rest to freak out about them.
Thank you, again!
Oh how easy it is to over look that verse. I do it myself. Thank you for the reminder of really rest
This was so beautiful and providential! I crave the *rest* only He can offer and I struggle to accept.
Oh my goodness…I’m an obsessive list maker too! I totally write lists about lists! I love being organized, but at some point, the lists become an oppressive burden, a list of things I feel guilty about not having done yet.
I often think I have to go somewhere special to have real “rest.” But you are so right, God wants to give us rest now, right where we are!
Thank you so much for the encouragement today!
I Live in an Antbed says
I love this verse in the Message for I, too, am a list-maker:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Beth Williams says
Yep another list maker. We all need to get some rest – especially spiritual rest & renewal.
Thanks for the reminder!
I am so there. This morning I had to make myself steer away from my usual routine and simply sit in His Presence.
“My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”
God showed me he wants me to learn to REST in Him at the retreat I went on last fall. Rest from anxiety. Rest from life. Rest for my soul. It is my one word for this year. I am still learning, but thank you for the reminder. I am not there yet.
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Living the Balanced Life says
I love this verse too. I have been through a very tough last year. I went through an emotional breakdown from stress, depression and anxiety. Part of my healing process has been learning to rest in Him. It is not an easy process for a Type A personality like me. Even when I am exhausted, I feel pushed to accomplish, to do, intead of just resting in Him.
Thank you for this post!
The world really IS at our fingertips!
Ahh, Abbie, your writing is like looking into my own brain and seeing the chaos and the clay all at once. The clay He is molding and making…
Thank you for sharing your heart.