Home from our week of vacation, I am so grateful for seasons of rest and the rhythm of labor and rest that God designed for us in this life on planet earth. I am also aware that I sometimes mistake physical rest for the preferred state of being at rest on the inside. Ceasing my labors is not necessarily a trigger that ceases my internal unrest; as well, in the life of Christ, I can be physically exhausted and still have internal rest, peace and calm.
Even so, in the moments and days when circumstances grant a lightened load of physical labor, I endeavor to focus on Him, come to Him, in order that I might find rest for my soul. His nearness does me good. Psalm 73:26 (NKJV) says, “My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” And in verse 28a: “…it is good for me to draw near to God.”
In Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV) Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Here we have an opportunity to believe Him and to trust Him. Submitting to the truth of who He is, and choosing to act in ways that reveal our confidence in Him. Absolute rest (internal peace) is the benefit of our trust and the result our submission to His rule of love (an easy yoke) and His way of love (a light burden).
And here’s the best part. If I draw near to Him, He has promised to draw near to me (James 4:8a). As I think back over my 57 years I can see how surrender to Him has afforded me both rest and strength. Would that I lived all my moments in the light of this truth. I can say, however, that the longer I journey with Him, the quicker I seem to come to the realization that any unrest I have is related to an area (a circumstance, a relationship, a fear) that I need to submit to Him. Letting go of my need to perform and my desire to be right opens the door of my heart to His gentle and humble way with me, and I can rest in the security of belonging to Him and enjoy the good things (eternal things) that He holds for me.
Lord God almighty, King of kings, and Savior of my soul, I yield to You. I give my doubts and fears to You and surrender my heart to Your love for me. You who fashioned my heart and formed my body, You and You only know me and what is good for me. I believe You when You say that you love me, and I trust You with my whole heart. Thank You for drawing near and doing me so much good. I love you, too. And I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Journaling prompt: Consider any areas in your life where you are experiencing unrest, strife or fear. Visit these areas in conversation with Him and repent of any faithlessness. Consider also areas in your life where you are experiencing the peace of God that is beyond understanding, and write prayers of gratitude for His strength and provision.
Until next week, enjoy the refreshing and invigorating power of His living water, and partake of His Word daily.