Jesus, I am coming, coming...for rest!

images-2

images-2

Come to Me...and I will give you rest...Matthew 11:28

Rest is a fragile thing!

The thoughtless slight, the smallest disappointment, the embarrassing mistake, the insecure thought...as well as the big stuff of life, like health, marriage, family, financial crises...

All can dispel our peace and rest.  And anapausis, that inner tranquility of soul, can be gone in a flash!

Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers

Over the years, as I've "struggled" at times to be at rest, I have come back to several readings in O. Chambers' uplifing devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.  All of the entries are based on Jesus' invitation and promise in Matthew 11:28.

As you read, may you be encouraged, as I always am, to respond to our Lord's COME and receive His anapausis (inner rest) for your soul. [Note: these are excerpts; to read the devotionals in their entirety, click on the title of each]:

Self-Consciousness

...Self-consciousness is the first thing that will upset the completeness of the life in God, and self-consciousness continually produces wrestling. Self-consciousness is not sin; it may be produced by a nervous temperament or by a sudden dumping down into new circumstances. It is never God’s will that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him.

Anything that disturbs rest in Him must be cured at once, and it is not cured by being ignored, but by coming to Jesus Christ.

...Never allow the dividing up of your life in Christ to remain without facing it. Beware of leakage, of the dividing up of your life by the influence of friends or of circumstances; beware of anything that is going to split up your oneness with Him and make you see yourself separately.

Nothing is so important as to keep right spiritually. The great solution is the simple one – Come unto Me....

peaceful walk

peaceful walk

Completeness

Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jesus Christ, turn to Him at once and ask Him to establish rest. Never allow anything to remain which is making the dis-peace.Take every element of disintegration as something to wrestle against, and not to suffer. Say – Lord, prove Thy consciousness in me, and self-consciousness will go and He will be all in all.

Beware of allowing self-consciousness to continue because by slow degrees it will awaken self-pity, and self-pity is Satanic. Well, I am not understood; this is a thing they ought to apologize for; that is a point I really must have cleared up. Leave others alone and ask the Lord to give you Christ-consciousness, and He will poise you until the completeness is absolute....

If we try to overcome self-consciousness by any common-sense method, we will develop it tremendously. Jesus says, "Come unto Me and I will give you rest," i.e., Christ-consciousness will take the place of self-consciousness. Wherever Jesus comes He establishes rest, the rest of the perfection of activity that is never conscious of itself.

restful cross

restful cross

After Surrender— Then What?

True surrender is not simply surrender of our external life but surrender of our will— and once that is done, surrender is complete. The greatest crisis we ever face is the surrender of our will....

Come to Me . . . and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). It is only after we have begun to experience what salvation really means that we surrender our will to Jesus for rest. Whatever is causing us a sense of uncertainty is actually a call to our will— Come to Me.  And it is a voluntary coming....

Jesus, I am resting, resting...or at least wanting to!

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

I need it!

This is the time of the year that I begin to really drag, needing my rest!  The energy of summer has passed. (Maybe I'm really wanting to hibernate like the bears?)

But there is work to be done, students to teach, deadlines to meet, and of course, grandsons to love on...

So let me say it again -- we humans ALL (especially this writer!) need deep, glorious rest...no 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,

2 chairs...resting

2 chairs...resting

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 NASB

We can receive eternal, spiritual rest as we come to Jesus and receive eternal life as a free gift. We don't work to exhaustion for it (through good works, religious or otherwise) but embrace it for the taking when we come to Him who is our rest.

And we believers who are burdened and work to exhaustion can also findanapausis (RESTin Greek). But this is not just the "take a nap" kind of rest...it 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)...to 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:  HERE...to 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! HERE...to 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:   HERE...to ME!

yoked animals

yoked animals

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!

Singthis 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.

Jesus, I am coming, coming...

Come to Me...and I will give you rest...Matthew 11:28

Rest is a fragile thing!

The thoughtless slight, the smallest disappointment, the embarrassing mistake, the insecure thought...as well as the big stuff of life, like health, marriage, family, financial crises...

All can dispel our peace and rest.  And anapausis, that inner tranquility of soul, can be gone in a flash!

Over the years, as I've "struggled" at times to be at rest, I have come back to several readings in O. Chambers' uplifing devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.  All of the entries are based on Jesus' invitation and promise in Matthew 11:28.

As you read, may you be encouraged, as I always am, to respond to our Lord's COME and receive His anapausis (inner rest) for your soul. [Note: these are excerpts; to read the devotionals in their entirety, click on the title of each]:

Self-Consciousness

...Self-consciousness is the first thing that will upset the completeness of the life in God, and self-consciousness continually produces wrestling. Self-consciousness is not sin; it may be produced by a nervous temperament or by a sudden dumping down into new circumstances. It is never God’s will that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him.

Anything that disturbs rest in Him must be cured at once, and it is not cured by being ignored, but by coming to Jesus Christ.

...Never allow the dividing up of your life in Christ to remain without facing it. Beware of leakage, of the dividing up of your life by the influence of friends or of circumstances; beware of anything that is going to split up your oneness with Him and make you see yourself separately.

Nothing is so important as to keep right spiritually. The great solution is the simple one – Come unto Me....

Completeness

Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jesus Christ, turn to Him at once and ask Him to establish rest. Never allow anything to remain which is making the dis-peace.Take every element of disintegration as something to wrestle against, and not to suffer. Say – Lord, prove Thy consciousness in me, and self-consciousness will go and He will be all in all.

Beware of allowing self-consciousness to continue because by slow degrees it will awaken self-pity, and self-pity is Satanic. Well, I am not understood; this is a thing they ought to apologize for; that is a point I really must have cleared up. Leave others alone and ask the Lord to give you Christ-consciousness, and He will poise you until the completeness is absolute....

If we try to overcome self-consciousness by any common-sense method, we will develop it tremendously. Jesus says, "Come unto Me and I will give you rest," i.e., Christ-consciousness will take the place of self-consciousness. Wherever Jesus comes He establishes rest, the rest of the perfection of activity that is never conscious of itself.

After Surrender— Then What?

True surrender is not simply surrender of our external life but surrender of our will— and once that is done, surrender is complete. The greatest crisis we ever face is the surrender of our will....

Come to Me . . . and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). It is only after we have begun to experience what salvation really means that we surrender our will to Jesus for rest. Whatever is causing us a sense of uncertainty is actually a call to our will— Come to Me.  And it is a voluntary coming....

Jesus, I am working, working

Come to Me...and I will give you rest...Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me...and you will find rest for your souls... Matthew 11:28-29

I'm such a worker bee...how about you?  I get great satisfaction out of accomplishing something.  It can be a "driven" thing if I'm not careful. By the time I realize it, I'm really dragging! And rather than being satisfied, I'm disgruntled and out of sorts!

Being the worker bee is especially dangerous when it comes to the spiritual life.  I lived for a long time under the yoke of what I call "to do list" Christianity.  What a bondage!  Self-effort doesn't work when it comes to doing what only God can do...which is anything and and everything of any spiritual value.

That's why I love the Lord's invitation,

Take my yoke upon you...and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:29-30

Rest is a gift.  Anapausis, the inner tranquility of soul while engaged in our necessary labors, can only be mine when I respond to Jesus' gracious words, Come...Take...

But how can rest be mine while I am working...doing what needs to be done?  It's all wrapped up in the image of the yoke.

A yoke is a bar or frame of wood to attach two animals (such as oxen or other draft animals) together for work.

I love this image of being yoked to Christ.  Notice who takes on Whose yoke -- Jesus calls me to take on HIS yoke...I don't try to get Him to take on MY yoke.

But isn't that what we often do?  We "invite" Him to take on OUR yoke...we take on a project and then ask the Lord to bless and prosper it!  But the question always needs to be...is it HIS yoke?  He is the source of the work and the power behind it all.  He invites me to join Him in HIS work because of my union with Him. 

The late Maj. W Ian Thomas describes this taking on Jesus' yoke as the faith-rest life:

...Christ is in action, and you in your humanity are simply the clothes of His divine activity.  This is the rest of faith...it is your hands with which He is at work, your lips with which He is speaking, your eyes with which He sees the need, your ears with which He hears the cry, and your heart with which He loves the lost. The Indwelling Life of Christ, p 99

Fellow worker bees, join me in responding in a new way today to Jesus gracious invitation:

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 11:29-30

RESTING

Once my hands were always trying,

Trying hard to do my best,

Now my heart is sweetly trusting,

And my soul is all at rest.

Once my brain was always planning,

And my heart, with cares oppressed,

Now I trust the Lord to lead me,

And my life is all at rest.

Once my life was full of effort,

Now ‘tis full of joy and zest;

Since I took His yoke upon me

Jesus gives to me His rest.

A.B.Simpson

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 it...as 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, gloriousrest...no 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 rest...it 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)...to 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:  HERE...to 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! HERE...to 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:   HERE...to 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.

The Rest of the Gospel: Songs of the Week {Be at Rest...Rest}

sheep at rest
sheep at rest

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9-10 ESV

Enjoying God's rest...what a peaceful thought.  Jesus Himself is our Rest.

And as we bring our summer book club to a close this week, I thought it appropriate to share two beautiful songs.

Relax and enjoy your rest, thanks to your union with our Lord Christ, who is our Sabbath Rest.

Be at Rest

Be at rest, be at rest once moreO my soul, for the Lord has been goodBe at rest, be at rest once moreO my soul, o my soulBe at rest once moreFor the Lord has been good to you

For You, O LordHave delivered my soul from deathMy eyes from tearsAnd You, O LordHave delivered my feet from stumbling

Words and Music by Jeremy Johnson © 2005 Van Ness Press, Inc. / ASCAP

Rest

Rest, the Lord is nearRefuse to fear, enjoy His loveTrust, His mighty powerFills every hour, of all your days

Chorus:There is no needFor needless worryWith such a SaviorYou have no cause to everDoubt, His perfect WordStill reassures, in any trial

Rest, the Lord is thereLift up your prayerFor He is strongTrust, He'll bring releaseAnd perfect peace, will calm your mind

(Chorus)

Call HimIf you grow frightenedCall HimWith loving careHe'll lift the burden and you'll

Rest, the Lord is nearRefuse to fear, enjoy His loveTrust, His might powerFills every hour, of all your days

Rest, the Lord is nearRefuse to fear, enjoy His love

Lyrics and Music by Phill McHugh And Greg Nelson

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-W3B3OUkN0[/youtube]

The Rest of the Gospel: Entering God's Rest (Chapter 25)

Chapter 25  Entering God's Rest Key Verses:

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. Heb 4:9-11 ESV

Read Chapter 25:  Entering God's Rest

1. Is your life characterized by an inner rest? What does your answer tell you about the degree to which you are trusting Christ as your life?

2. Does being at rest mean that we will cease having any soul fluctuations? Explain.

3. According to Hebrews, what is they key to entering God’s rest? What might that look like in your life? Use a specific example from your life this past week in your answer.

4. What is the prerequisite for entering God’s rest? Give some examples of how this operates in our lives.

5. What does Dan mean when he says to turn your spiritual eye inward? Is this a self focus or a God focus? Explain.

6. What role does communion with God play in experiencing God’s rest?

7. What happens to the externals on the path to God’s rest? How is God making this happen in your life now?

8. In what ways are you seeking for God to give you something beyond Himself? In what way is He insufficient for all your needs? What is God saying to you about this right now?

9. What did Barbara mean when she told Dan to only talk about the unseen? What message is there in that for us?

The Rest of the Gospel: Song of the Week {Jesus, I am Resting, Resting}

tea-cup-and-books-on-a-table
tea-cup-and-books-on-a-table

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 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...among other things like wife, mother, grandmother, friend, sister, etc.    A year or so ago, I also became a blogger/amateur writer.  Right now, 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, gloriousrest...no 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, 

2 chairs...resting
2 chairs...resting

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 rest...it 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)...to 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:  HERE...to 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! HERE...to 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:   HERE...to ME!

yoked animals
yoked animals

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!

Singthis 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.

First posted in April 2012

This "branch" is basking on a beach!

Taking a break...I'm on the way to the beach...in New Jersey. Yes, I'm a Jersey Girl and revisiting my roots with extended family "down the shore."

I'm resting in my Vine...

practicing what I preach...

trusting Him to restore my soul as I abide in HIM...

and refresh my body as I walk on the beach, drinking my Dunkin' Donuts coffee,

talkin' to HIM and meditating on His Word...

so I can hear His voice and keep on followin' HIM!

Thank you, Lord, for family and the Jersey shore!

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Life as a Branch Perhaps one of the most profound things I am learning about abiding is that it never takes you out of the moment you are in! …Abiding is not primarily about cloister and quiet. The invitation to abide is the invitation to draw spiritual sustenance directly from its Supernatural Source amid the dailiness of life!  [even on vacation!] …If we abide, fruit happens! We do our part, but there is a life that flows up through the roots and branches that is beyond our ability to understand or produce! Abiding is and always will be a moment by moment thing. [even on vacation!]

Discipleship Journal via Kathy Godwin (thank you, Kathy!)

I'll see you in a couple of weeks...blessings!

While I'm gone, I invite you to click on topics of interest on the Cloud (a.k.a. "Tags," archives)  to the right in green :)

PS Photos from our family reunion:

August 4, 2012