Jesus, I am resting, resting...

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 do dads.  Single folk need it; workers need it; retirees do too...even kids need it (although they would protest most loudly...especially after no-sleep sleepovers!)

This is the time of the year that I begin to really drag, needing my rest!  I'm a teacher, not really looking forward to the beginning of the new school-year. But I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, sister, etc.   And right now, as an author, I'm hitting Blogger's Block/ Writer's Block -- that brain-draining fatigue that hits everyone (including students) who has put pen to paper regularly.

So let me say it again -- we humans ALL need deep, matter what our role in life.  And we need rest, not just for our bodies, but for our souls most of all!

I don't know about you, but I am going to the only Place I know to go for the rest I need...and that place is my Lord Jesus Christ!  HE is Rest!  I'm responding to His gracious invitation, 

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

We who are burdened and work to exhaustion can find anapausis (RESTin Greek). But this is not just the "take a nap" kind of goes much deeper:

In Matthew 11:28-29, the Lord promises "anapausis" (inner tranquility) to the weary and heavy laden who come to HIM while they are engaged in necessary labor. Spiro Zodiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament, p. 156

Isn't that good news, dear friend? Even when we cannot take a break from our duties, we can have inner tranquility because of our relationship with our Lord Christ.

And there's an interesting emphasis in that short phrase, Come to Me, in the original Greek.  Literally, Jesus says,

HERE (Hither, KJV) ME!

That's right, the word COME isn't found in the original!  It's just implied...and I think, for a reason.

I picture Jesus Himself beckoning to the battered and beleaguered crowd of ordinary people following Him.  He points to HIMSELF as the source of spiritual rest: ME...for rest!

The religious rulers, who hounded them, burdened them with duties above and beyond what God required.  Jesus, on the other hand, joins (yokes) Himself to His people to give them rest on every level.  So in a sense, He says,

Don't go to THEM! ME!

And the same is true for you and me, dear friend.  What is hounding and harassing you?

Is it the pressures of mothering? ...the stress of financial needs? ...the guilt of not being spiritual enough: reading the Bible, praying enough? ...the confusion and grief of relational rifts? ...the concern for struggling/straying loved ones? ...the fatigue/uncertainties of your job? ...struggles with ill health? ______[fill in the blank]______?

In every situation and in every stage of life on this earth, He Himself is our Rest. Join me in responding to His invitation: ME!

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. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly. Matthew 11:28-30 MSG


Suggestions for your COMING...from the mundane to the sublime [and I am practicing what I preach :) ]

Play instrumental hymns/praise/classical music softly in the background all day.  It's amazing how the music sets a peaceful atmosphere.  This is one of my favorite things to do when I'm home...keeping my music softly playing all day!

Memorize and recite often Psalm 23.  This is especially good when falling asleep or waking in the middle of the night! Visualize the scene, and let the peace of your Shepherd wash over you!

Take a break from social media for a period of time...however the Lord leads.  Call it a fast if you like and slow down the inner craziness to focus on the Lord.  Maybe just fast from it each day until after you meet with the Lord :) And if you are a blogger and hit bloggers block, let it be for awhile until the Lord breaks through with something fresh :)

Moms...get up earlier than your children, even if that means putting the coffee pot in the garage to brew (my son as a toddler/preschooler would wake up within 15 minutes of brewing my morning Joe).  Have your Bible, journal, devotional, &/or hymnbook in a handy spot.  And commune with your God...COME to HIM for your anapausis (rest while you go about your needful work)for your day! If little people do interrupt your time, let them join you...with their own Bible and journal :)

Home-school moms...when I was homeschooling and hit exhaustion, I would "take to my bed" for a whole day... homeschooling my son and daughter from the place of rest (my bed!).  They were a bit older and worked well on their own.  So I'd give them assignments, read with them, checked work (or have them check their own) etc. with them sitting next to me on the bed.  Then they would go off to complete assignments on their own.  Trust me, it really worked.  Then I'd be refreshed to continue on normally the next school-day!

Sing this wonderful hymn...focusing on the words to help in focusing on the Lord:

Jesus! I am resting, resting In the joy of what Thou art; I am finding out the greatness Of Thy loving heart.

Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, And Thy beauty fills my soul, For, by Thy transforming power, Thou hast made me whole.

Jesus! I am resting, resting In the joy of what Thou art; I am finding out the greatness Of Thy loving heart.

Oh, how great Thy loving kindness, Vaster, broader than the sea: Oh, how marvelous Thy goodness, Lavished all on me!

Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved, Know what wealth of grace is Thine, Know Thy certainty of promise, And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, I behold Thee as Thou art, And Thy love, so pure, so changeless, Satisfies my heart,

Satisfies its deepest longings, Meets, supplies its every need, Compasseth me round with blessings, Thine is love indeed.

Ever lift Thy face upon me, As I work and wait for Thee; Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, Earth's dark shadows flee.

Brightness of my Father's glory, Sunshine of my Father's face, Keep me ever trusting, resting, Fill me with Thy grace.