noun: breathing space, downtime, freedom from anxieties
“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.” Matthew 11:28
A real rest? What does that even mean?
I’m pretty sure Jesus has more in mind for us than a short nap or a week off. As good as those sound, I’m curious about this idea of real rest…
Because what I feel a lot of the time is rest-less. Even on vacation. I’m writing this in the middle of summer break. And I have actually taken a nap this week. Yet I’m unsettled, fidgety, antsy.
I have way too many things on my list.
I’m worrying about so many things, so many people.
I’m not doing enough.
I should, I should, I should…
Jesus, what do YOU want me to do?
And he is quiet. So I squirm and wriggle and try to run ahead. Then I read this:
“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.”
But how, Jesus? We’re kind of burning out here. How do we recover our lives? How do we rest in You?
You understand that we have to go to work and school, run our errands, take care of laundry and homework and bills, right? Most of the things on our everyday lists are not optional.
Are You telling us not to do them? To just run away from it all?
Then I read the next verse:
“Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it…”
Oh. Maybe what He means by rest is a deep breath in the midst of it all. In the stress of our busy schedules and our sleepless nights and our multitasking, we can come to Jesus. He will walk along side of us and be right there with us as we try to get everything done. As we hustle and worry, he reminds us to look to Him. He wants to give us a break as we let him hold everything for a minute. Or a night. Or the rest of our lives…
Let’s Invite Him In: Are you restless? Jesus can help you. He will weave meaning and hope through everything that is happening in your world. Just for a moment, can you stop and take a long, deep breath? Maybe another one?
He. Is. God.
Be still. Know that. Trust Him.
Look to Him when everything is churning inside of you. Ask Him to calm your restless heart.
He is the only one who can give you lasting peace, abundant life, and real rest.