Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) "Come to me all you 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."
Friend To Friend
We live in uncertain times. Where do we turn for rest, for hope, for peace and stability? Jesus offers rest and hope and the promise of a better tomorrow. How can we experience the peace and rest God so freely offers?
- Admit your need for rest. Many of us have bought into the lie that who we are is based on what we do or don't do. We fill every waking moment with something or someone in order to prove our worth. After all, we must be worthy if we are doing worthy things, right? Busyness does not always equal productivity. When we admit our need to rest, we are acknowledging the fact that we are imperfect and that our human power if limited. We need to rest in Him.
- Turn to Jesus to find rest. Recreation is anything you enjoy doing while relaxation is any activity that slows you down. Restoration is an inside job and can only be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We once had an Australian cattle dog named Dallas. Australian cattle dogs are extremely loyal to a master of their choice. Dallas chose our son, Jered, to be his master. When Jered came home from school each day, Dallas would greet him at the door and follow him wherever he went. If Jered was doing homework in his room, Dallas would find a spot under Jered's desk and lay down. If our son was working in the garage, Dallas was with him. When Jered ran an errand, Dallas went for a ride. Dallas knew that the only place he would find rest was at the feet of his master. The same is true in our life.
- Lay your stuff at Jesus' feet. The number one stress in your life is the burden you have assumed that is not yours to carry. Exhaustion comes when we fail to take on a responsibility God never intended us to bear. The twin of exhaustion is emptiness which comes when we fail to take on a responsibility God does intend us to take on. God empowers His plan and agenda for our life. When we step outside of that plan, we are stepping into our own power and depending on our own strength, both of which will soon be depleted.
- Realize you are not alone. For years, our family vacationed in the mountains of North Carolina in order to escape the brutal heat of South Florida where we lived. We all had our favorite thing to do while on vacation. Dan loved to read and take long walks in the cool, green forests. The kids loved wading in creeks, looking for "gold." My favorite activity was shopping for antiques. Now let me define "antiques" and "antique stores" according to Mary. The best stores were nestled in the mountains on some remote dirt road and the "antiques" were what most people would call junk. One year, I walked into a shop and stopped in my tracks when I saw the yoke. One of my husband's favorite passages of scripture is Matthew 11:28-30 where Jesus says, "Take my yoke upon you ... and you will find rest for your souls." For years, I searched for just the right yoke to give Dan as a special gift. It seemed that every yoke I found was either too big or too small and in less than stellar condition. The yoke before me was in perfect condition and was just the right size and price. Upon closer inspection, my excitement faded.
Yokes have two loops of leather or wood attached to a sturdy wooden frame. Two working animals wore the loops around their necks in order to bear whatever load they were given. The loops on this particular yoke were not the same size - one larger than the other. When I pointed out the flaw, the shop owner said, "It is supposed to be made like that. The stronger animal is placed in the larger loop to help the weaker animal pull the load. A shared load is a lighter load. Rest is found in a personal relationship with God and with others.
Are you tired and exhausted from trying to live life on your own? Come to Jesus - just as you are. Find rest in Him.
Father, thank You for the rest you promise to give when I come to You. It seems like I am always tired and every step is hard. Please forgive me when I turn to You as a last resort instead of running to you first. Today, I turn to You, Lord, for rest.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
- Read Genesis 2:2. How does this verse apply to your life?
- Read Lamentations 5:5. How does rest apply to the difficult people in your life?
- Read Job 33:26. Notice every "action" word in this verse. What does God promise when we choose to apply the steps He outlines in this verse?
- Identify the areas of unrest in your life. Bring them to God in prayer and seek rest in Him.