Are you feeling…. disheartened, disappointed, baffled, undone, weak, exhausted, drooping, drained, fatigued, wiped out, fed up, zonked? Too pooped to participate?
Do you wonder why you have lost patience, compassion, energy, drive, tenderness, grace, kindness and mercy?
It is all too common these days for us to become physically spent, emotionally weary, mentally overwhelmed and spiritually aching.
What do you feel when you hear the word… REST?
The word “rest” invokes a myriad of thoughts, emotions, physical responses and just the need to breathe deeply and exhale. Our idea of rest usually takes us to a place of escape. Escape from physical weariness, mental fatigue, emotional overload and maybe spiritual drought.
We are not alone when we are in the need of rest. The Psalms record David addressing the issue with God. “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me” (Ps. 42:5), “My soul is weary with sorrow.” (Ps. 119:28). And my favorite, ”Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” (Ps 55:6)
There are practical Soulutions that will bring some of the results we desire. For physical weariness we can be restored by sleep, exercise and the proper diet… all doable. It is possible to combat mental fatigue by practicing “right thinking” Philippians 4:4-9. Emotional overload tends to be lightened by a good friend. Talking or “unloading” the burden helps to carry it in a manageable way.
But the SOULution is found in the rest that only the Savior can offer.
Matt. 11:29 says: Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Andrew Murray says this in his book Abiding In Christ,
“These words of the Savior uncover what you have perhaps often wondered: How it is that the rest you at times enjoy is so often lost ? This must have been the reason: You did not understand how entire surrender to Jesus is the secret of perfect rest.
Giving up one’s whole life to Him to rule and order, taking up His yoke, and allowing ourselves to be led and taught of Him, abiding in Him, to be and do only what He wills–these are the conditions of discipleship without which there can be no thought of maintaining the rest that was bestowed on first coming to Christ. The rest is in Christ, and not something He gives apart from Himself, and so it is only in having Him that the rest can really be kept and enjoyed.”
Rest is possible. Not only possible, but provided by our Lord. He gives us more than rest, He gives us Himself. He guides us clearly through the Word to our place of rest. “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Ps. 62:5
We can trust Him to care for us, to supply the rest we need. Andrew Murray says it so well in Abiding in Christ, “Weary soul, come and learn this day the lesson that there is a spot where safety and victory, peace and rest, are always sure. That place, which is the heart of Jesus, is always open to you.”
How are you doing believing these truths? Where can you rest in God today?
Deb Hafer is the director of Global REST, a non-profit organization whose call is to assist workers in extending and enhancing their work cross culturally by providing customized, on-the- field) retreats as well as individual visits and team mediation. Global REST retreats are custom designed to minister to small groups (teams) to bring renewal and encouragement, focusing on the areas the team chooses. She can answer answer any questions you might have. Please contact her at [email protected]