Life often demands that you keep going even when you are tired.
When you are burdened with grief, you still have to go to work.
When you are battling anxiety, someone still has to do the dishes.
When you are restless to go but must stay right where you are.
“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. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it” Matthew 11:28 MSG
Jesus invites us to walk with Him, work with Him, and watch how He lives in the fullness of God’s love every day while bearing a great burden.
Your world may be dripping with unmet expectations, foundation-shaking experiences, and unbearable obligations.
Or it may be boring and frustrating with endless monotony.
Whatever is happening around you, Jesus wants to walk with you through it.
Lean on His strength and let Him love you right where you are.
I want to remind you that you have a place of refuge in Christ.
He is like a fortress of strength to love from.
He is a tower of trust to give from.
Live from the truth of who Jesus is and what he has done for you on the cross.
You are restored and redeemed.
You are accepted and forgiven.
You are cherished and loved.
When the strong sun of adversity beats down, rest in Shaddai’s shadow. Tuck yourself into His side and remind yourself whose you are.
“You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this:‘GOD, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!’ That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm.”
Psalm 91:1-5 MSG
When fear screams the loudest, run to the refuge of the cross. Jesus died for you so that you could have this: an unhindered relationship with your Father in heaven who has strong arms and strong love.
“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.” Matthew 8:24 NIV
We have all been living through a storm of uncertainty for the last year. In one way or another, Covid-19 has disrupted our lives like a storm disrupts a clear blue sky.
Since living in Southern Florida for the last few of years, I have a healthy respect for storms that come on quickly and are ferocious. Every afternoon in the summer, the fluffy white clouds that fill the blue expanse of the sky in the morning turn into dark thunderclouds by the afternoon. Some afternoon storms are gentle showers and over quickly. Some of them rip the sky open with the crack of lightning, heart-pounding thunderclaps, and vicious wind.
The verse above describes a storm on the Sea of Galilee that came on so suddenly and was so ferocious that seasoned fisherman (the disciples) feared for their lives.
And what was Jesus doing? He was sleeping. He was resting.
He didn’t get in the boat at the beginning of the voyage and quiet the winds and calm the waves before he fell asleep, Jesus rested right in the middle of it.
The storm did not disturb him.
How did Jesus rest in the midst of an unexpected storm?
Jesus knew three things:
That God, His Father determined His time on earth, not a storm- even the most ferocious of ones.
Who and whose He was: the Son of God, on a mission from God, filled with the power of God.
He knew that His mission was not over yet.
The best thing for you to do in a storm is to trust God and rest.
Rest in God’s sovereignty: He knows the moment you will cross into eternity. This storm will not be the end of your story and God does not have half a plan.
Rest in knowing who and whose you are: a cherished child of God, redeemed by the cross of Christ to live life loved and drenched in God’s grace.
Rest in the knowledge that as long as you are here, God’s mission for you is not done yet.
I know it is stormy where you are but I want you to know that God is there with you and He will get you through whatever happens.
There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.”
Matthew 6:25, 26 MSG
Life with God is about being filled with His love and then pouring it out on all those around you.
It is worshipping Him when we wake, when we walk, when we clean, when we work, when we eat, when we get dressed.
It is knowing you are saved by grace and reconciled to Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus.
It is knowing He loves you because you are His kid and He enjoys spending time with you.
My friend, you are a child of God who is cherished, chosen and provided for.
Live in the freedom of His love.
Live care-less in the care of God.
Live more in this truth and less in the lie that you are valued because of what you look like, eat, wear or do.
This life, this love, this security comes from Jesus and is unshakable.
According to God, you need at least one day a week that is dedicated to resting. You are not a robot, you are a human being. You are created to work and to rest. To give and to refill. To refuel and refresh. Rest isn’t just about stopping, it is about refueling energy. You need to refuel the energy of your body and soul, spirit, and mind.
“Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.” Exodus 34:21 NIV
You need to rest, refresh, recharge in all seasons but especially in the busiest ones.
It isn’t optional.
It’s how God made you and it is the way to optimize the gifts He has given you to fulfill the purpose He has placed before you.