Rest in Christ
We have a broken world.
Your power is in Christ.
He is the authority.
“For this is my yoke.”
Are you resting or are you doing?
These words were scribbled by my six year old’s hands as he listened intently to the sermon last Sunday. As I was taking note, he asked for a sheet of my paper and a pen. I figured he was going to draw a racetrack or cars. Then I saw this. I stored it up in my heart and tried not to act embarrassing to him 😉
I hope this message from Matthew 11:28-30 takes root in his life as it has in mine:
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
Who doesn’t want rest for your souls? Who wants to feel weary and heavy burdened? No one. But how many of us do? The majority of us at times. But why?
1. We place burdens on our shoulders that Jesus never meant for us to bear.
I know do this. I get so excited about a new fun opportunity and think I can cram 60 min a week into a time slot of 15 min. (Even though my brain doesn’t even function naturally on a schedule so I have no time slots mapped out. It’s all in my head which is even more dangerous, right? 😉) Enter my need for this book which I’ve been LOVING:
The burden or “job” Jesus meant for us to be joyfully doing gets suffocated & rushed & irritating because we are juggling it with an assignment we gave ourselves.
There’s no restful feeling in rushing around.
Have you tried to get your kids ready to leave the house from pajamas to fully dressed & ready in 10 minutes? Try it for fun and see how fast your heart beats. That’s rushing if you need to experience it!
Rushing and resting can’t happen at the same time in the same heart. I’m trying this endeavor & so far it’s a fail.
“If I really want an unrushed life, I must underwhelm my schedule so God has room to overwhelm my soul.” – Lysa Terkeurst, The Best Yes
Maybe I am particularly struggling with this because I lived in Uganda for 3 months this year, where NO ONE rushes and time is not “kept.” There isn’t an excess of activities because there isn’t an excess of resources.
Bless Sharon’s heart, she’s doing so well adjusting to this American lifestyle. She used to only live at the orphanage & walk a hundred yards to preschool & back everyday. Now she climbs into the minivan every time mommy says its time to go. Her sentences are still spoken using Ugandan syntax: “We’re going where?” I’d like to say we aren’t going anywhere today, we are just going to stay home and REST. And minus church yesterday, that exactly what we got to do. A real sabbath. Rest in Christ. Time to enjoy the blessings, reflect on his Word, listen for His voice. So I’ve taken Jesus’s words to heart & this is what He’s taught me: 1. Come to Him first. First thing in the morning.
Seek His face to be filled with his peace, which will set my soul up for resting in him, even while my body is hard at work serving my family (aka running around in circles trying to enjoy them and not yell) the rest of the day.
Seek His face for direction. What do you have for me today? What’s important, what’s worthy of my time & attention?
2. Come to him during the day as I am “doing.”
We don’t always have to be still at Jesus’s feet to rest in him. We can invite his supernatural peace to overwhelm our hearts at anytime. One habit we do is praying out loud in the car on our way to places. Now if we are quickly approaching our destination & mommy hasn’t prayed, Sharon reminds me 🙂
3. Keep eternal perspective.
We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. (Psalms 39:6 NLT)
We are here on earth one minute and gone the next. The errand or activity we are doing or headed to may feel so important, and therefore create this crazy, non restful tension in my heart & therefore my parenting, marriage or other relationships.
But what’s really important? Lasting things. Faith. Hope. Love.
Asking Jesus to help us stay focused on these things will bring rest to our souls, lighten our burdens, and reveal more and more of his humble, gentle, beautiful heart to us.
Here’s to less rushing & more resting.