Ah! REST...what a glorious word! I inhale and exhale deeply at just the sound of it. And oh, how we humans need deep, glorious rest... Moms especially need it...as do dads. Single folks need it; workers need it; retirees do, too..Even kids need it (although they would protest most loudly...especially in the midst of the frenetic-ness of no-sleep sleepovers!)
I remember as a mom of an infant how I longed for rest, praying my crying-in-the-middle-of-the-night baby would just fall quietly back to dreamland. Or my napping toddler would stay napping so I could lie prostrate for just a few more moments (Please, God!) And now, even as a senior retired adult, that beautiful rest calls my name more often than not in the midst of my afternoons. So I often take to my overstuffed couch and doze as I watch the old westerns from my childhood.
I can’t help but think our craving for physical rest is really just a picture of the rest we need even more so for our souls and spirits. That’s why Christ’s invitation is so attractive. We see it here:
Come to me, all 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.
Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
Here in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus promises rest as a gift. This is not just the "take a nap" kind of rest, it goes much deeper. It’s anapausis (“rest” in Greek). It’s “inner tranquility” even while “engaged in necessary labor.”
To read the rest of this post on the rest that Jesus invites us into, please join me over at the Dayton Women in the Word blog.