We are a society that has become weary for lack of rest. We can relate to the psalmist who says, “I am weary with my sighing” (Ps 6:6). Weary can mean faint, having nothing more to give, ready to collapse. Do these words describe you? Are you weary emotionally, physically or spiritually?
Too often our “to do” lists are longer than the hours in our day. If you are like me, much of the time, I create my own stress. I say “yes” when I should say “no” to a task or request. I fail to take time to pause and just be in the Lord’s presence; instead I fill my days and hours and the result is exhausting. Many times I create stress by taking on tomorrow’s worries today. I let my mind wander and worry. But God created rest. God desires we find rest.
Matthew 11:28-30 speaks to us about learning to find rest in the midst of our stress:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Come – deute – an imperative — come hither! come here! come! come now! —from a root word meaning urging and calling, here! come!
Rest – anapauo – to cause or permit one to cease from movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength; to give rest, to refresh; to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation, an intermission.
Jesus beckons us to come to him to find rest. I love how the original word for “come” is so emphatic. It’s like he is saying, NOW! Not later, not if you feel like it, not when you’ve exhausted all other possibilities, but NOW! The rest He desires to give us is a pause to recover our strength, a quiet and calming of our souls. The great thing about learning to rest in Christ is that it can be done in the midst of whatever we have going on in our day.
Three ways I’ve discovered I can find rest instead of experiencing stress:
Rest in His Presence.
Jesus beckons us to come and find rest. It is in His presence that I can let me guard down, pour my heart out and really begin to experience His peace, comfort, refreshing and joy. Take time to get in God’s presence. Reflect on who He is. Praise Him. Give thanks. He is our sanctuary, the anchor for our souls.
Reflect on these passages from God’s Word about resting in God’s presence: Psalm 18:1-2, Psalm 28:7, Psalm 23, Psalm 62:8, Psalm 42
Rest in His Provision.
God knows our need and He cares for us! In Psalm 40:12 the psalmist describes his burdens as being more numerous than the hairs on his head. I can relate! BUT in Luke 12:7 we read, “Why even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” God knows our needs and cares for us. He will provide what we need, when it’s needed.
Sometimes we just need to get outside and look out and around and up and take a cue from the sparrows and lilies. I find when I can get out in nature and just walk and admire God’s creation, it is so healing for my stress level.
Reflect on these passages about God’s provision: Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 6:25-34
Rest in His Power.
The best source of energy for each day is the Lord. He promises to give us strength. He is all-powerful. Operating in my own strength with always deplete my energy and cause stress. We were created to live in total dependence on God and His power working in and through us. All too often we try going in our own strength. This may work for a while, but it soon fails us.
Reflect on theses passages about God’s power: Isaiah 40:25–31, John 16:33, John 15:4–5, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Philippians 4:13
Jesus invites us to come to Him!
Come to Him as you read and reflect upon His powerful and energizing Word.
Come to Him in prayer as you lift your burdens to Him and leave them in His care.
Come to Him as you confess your sins and receive His forgiveness and peace.
Come to Him with praise and adoration, regardless of the situation, simply because of who He is.
Come to Him seeking His wisdom, comfort, love, security, rest and renewal.
Make a choice today to let go of the stress and find rest!
One day during an extremely stressful time in my life, I had come to the end of my rope! I was trying to control and fix and keep it all together. I decided to just STOP! Here’s a prayer of frustration and confession I wrote out to the Lord. I come back to this from time to time to remind myself that once I let it go, I experience His peace, joy and contentment.
Today, I cease striving.
Today, I quit trying to be the fixer of all relationships.
Today, I quit trying to “win” the war (and the battles).
Today, I quit justifying and trying to reorient the thinking and perceptions of others when I feel they “just don’t get it”.
Today, I lay it all down at the feet of the Lord.
Today, I surrender, release and find rest in God alone.
Lord, fill this void in me and be my ALL.
©2013 Susan Cady, susancady.com