Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” Mark 6:31a NLT
Series: An Invitation to Rest
If you have ever been told—”there’s no rest for the weary”—let me introduce you to this guy I know. His name is Jesus, and He offers a whole new way to live. I spent a lot of my life running here, running there, honestly, “running” everywhere. I bought (so many) planners, listened to time management talks, read books—at least the first chapter or two—”did all the things” to figure out how to add more to my days. Hurry, C’mon, and Let’s go, were the start of many of my sentences for years. Ugh. When I think of all the wasted time I spent rushing, with no break, and no peace, it makes me want to go back and tell myself to pause and rest awhile. But would I? Would you? Can you relate to this pattern of living? If you do, Jesus is your answer, and He tells us as much in Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT):
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 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.”
We are bombarded with invitations every day. Anytime we are asked to do something, it is an invitation to say yes or no. Depending on what it is, some of our “yeses” automatically require us to say “no” to other things by default. Some of these invitations are insignificant and don’t mean much of anything, while others will affect who we become, or how we respond to others and most of all, God. Every decision we make shapes our destiny so to speak. God has established us with our identity, we find this in Him alone, but sometimes we don’t live in or accept that. We lean into allowing the “what we do” to become “who we are.” And many times, we end up working from a place of self-sufficiency rather than a place of strength found only in our time with God.
Jesus offers us several invitations. He invites us to follow Him/receive Him as our Savior (leave our old life and take up a new one that resembles His). He invites us to abide in Him, (to always seek Him/read scripture/stand firm on His promises). And, He bids us to come to Him. When we stop what we are doing and go to Him, we find rest for our souls. Seems simple enough to me. Yet, as I type this, I battle the fact that I have laundry waiting in the dryer, boxes to unpack from a trip I just returned from, and I should probably go through the car wash.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
God understood our human tendencies toward tasks, accomplishments, overworking, losing joy and perspective. He knew we would have moments of fear or anxiety. So He built in a time that we might be physically refreshed, spiritually renewed, and emotionally recharged. In our humanness, we sometimes look at taking a “Sabbath” as a burden. We question the pause we need, so to speak. God rested on the seventh day, not because He was tired, but to revel and celebrate all the incredible creation He had made.
WE are so FUTURE oriented/task oriented/so about getting things done. Do we ever fully enjoy what God has given us? Or dwell in what He means to us? Do we pause? Look back and say – Wow, look at everything God provided this week! Let’s stop waiting for someday, somehow, or someway…today is the day!
We invite you to walk with us through our new series, “An Invitation to Rest.” Over the next several weeks, we will learn together, grow together and position ourselves to understand what Jesus has for us and how to receive the rest that restores our souls.
Time to RSVP!
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Mark 6:31a; Matthew 11:28-30; Exodus 20:8; Genesis 2:1-3