“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”Isaiah 30:15 NIV
Rest doesn’t have a season.
It isn’t optional.
You need it, every day.
You need rest for your body and for your 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.
What refreshes your spirit?
What rejuvenates your mind?
What feeds your soul?
Wholeness takes time.
Abundant life in Christ includes abundant rest in Him.
Resting from trying to figure it all out.
Resting from worrying yourself sick.
Resting from trying to control everything and have the answers for everything.
“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.
The One who called you is completely dependable.
If he said it, he’ll do it!”
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 MSG
Take a deep breath, slow down.
The very best thing you can do is rest in Him.
The Lord isn’t slow in keeping His promises, He is faithful to complete what He has started and is completely dependable.
I know it isn’t easy and life may not make sense right now.
Hold on, my friend.
Let Jesus work.
Trust in Him.
Put yourself and what is weighing heavy on your heart into His Hands.
He is patient with you (and with others) because He sees more than you do, His reach extends yours and His knowledge is not hindered by time or eternity.
God knows real change takes time and He is willing to wait.
Rest in Him today and give yourself permission to stop worrying about things you can’t control.
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him”.
Psalm 62:5 NLT
Let all that I am…
Daughter, wife, mother, friend, dreamer, detailer, realist, writer, speaker, cook, cleaner, pastor, inspirer, frail, my own worst critic, stubborn, strong, passionate, fearful, faithful, wonderful, beautiful, worry-full, redeemed, restored.
Stop and don’t take another step forward. Hush anxious thoughts. Put down the to-do list. Quiet fearful eyes. Close the door. Rest with abandon. Embrace moments of peace. Breathe silence. Cease to think, worry, wonder and simply be.
Not before the damage from the storm. Not before your bills. Not before your responsibilities. Not before your failures and faults nor your achievements or success. Wait quietly before God. The Creator, Provider, Peace Maker, Redeemer, Savior, Lord. He is sovereign and merciful, strong and gentle. Powerful and purposeful.
For my hope…
The tender expectations of possibility. Easily bruised. Unrealistic. Fantastic. Wonderful. Amazing hope.
Hope is the vehicle of momentum filled with a gas tank of faith and moves you forward. Without hope, the tank is empty, you feel as if you are going nowhere with no indication of possible change. With hope, nothing is impossible because with God all things are possible.
Is in Him…
My hope is wrapped up in the arms of grace surrounding my soul. My hope is not in temporal things, temporal circumstances, fleeting happiness but in a Person. My hope is held securely in nail-scarred hands. My hope is in Jesus, precious Jesus. Faithful Jesus. Powerful Jesus. Loving Jesus.
Where is your hope?
When your shoulders feel burdened and your heart is heavy, you need to ask whose yoke you are wearing.
When stress bears down on your neck and depression clouds your mind, you need to ask whose yoke you are wearing.
When despair shuts down your vision and hopelessness siphons your strength, you need to ask whose yoke you are wearing.
“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
When Jesus is offering you His yoke, it is an invitation to lay down whatever you are carrying (the yoke you have been walking in) whether it’s heavy because of what others have put on it or because of the burdens you yourself have added.
It is an invitation to come alongside Jesus and yoke up with Him. His yoke is light for you because He bears all the weight of it. The word used for “easy” doesn’t mean without effort, it means “fit for use”.
There is still a yoke to bear and a burden to carry. The difference is that Jesus bears the weight of it and gently trains you how to fully function in it.
How to walk and rest, follow and trust, and with Him function faithfully in God’s purposes for you.
Are you bearing your own yoke? Your own plans, purpose, and expectations?
Are you walking in someone else’s yoke? Someone else’s plans, purposes, and expectations?
What are God’s plans, purposes, and expectations for this day? What would it look like to walk in them?
May you check whose yoke you are shouldering often and learn from Jesus how to be fully yoked with Him.
May you trust His gentle heart and let Him lead you to unseen delights of service to others today.
Life often demands that you keep on walking even when you are tired. When you are burdened with grief, you still have to go to work. When you are battle weary someone still has to do the dishes.
Jesus says there is a way to walk and rest at the same time:
“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
He says walk with me and I will show you how to do it. He says to “Take my yoke” which just means “partner with me”.
Jesus says “I will bear the load and lead the way. Walk with me.”
Your “yoke” today may be dripping with unmet expectations, foundation-shaking experiences or unbearably heavy with too many obligations.
Jesus says to you today, “Here, take my yoke and I will take yours. My yoke is dripping with grace, burdened with divinely appointed purpose and wrapped in a deep peace that is not moved by tumultuous circumstances.”
You may be tired and weary today but still, you have to keep walking. Don’t walk alone. And swap yokes with Jesus, His is much better.
May you walk far and rest well in Jesus today.
“He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said.”
Romans 4:19 MSG
There comes a point in life that your faith becomes stronger by facing the facts. The facts being that human effort can not achieve the fulfillment of God’s promise.
That thing that God has called you to? You can’t make it happen. You never could.
Once you really grasp this your faith is set free to rest in God alone.
To be who Jesus has created you to be you are going to have to let go of “doing your best” and embrace “depending on God”.
This sets you free to shift your focus from yourself and your works to God and His works.
It shifts from giving yourself the glory of “today, I did a good job” or depression of ”I totally missed it” to giving God all the glory for all He has done and will do, instead.
God chose you.
God chose you to be a partner in the promise but the lion’s share of strength, inspiration, motivation, and miracle is all God’s.
Your part is to receive, rest, wait, and give glory to God.
Your part is to live fully persuaded that God is able to do above and beyond all you can ask or imagine.
My friend, don’t tiptoe around God’s promises today, dive into them. Take the plunge and live fully persuaded.