I had a hard time getting up this morning. Granted, we were working past nine last night (Shopping trip for the church, and putting everything away), so of course I was tired. Yet I got up, and in spite of a 4 year old who wouldn't get ready on time, I was mostly on time to the office hours I set for myself today. Yet I'm still exhausted. Last week I drove about 700 miles, all said and done (Not a big feat for some, but I don't do it for a living), and added another 113 yesterday. I'm weary of the road. I'm tired period. Adding to that, the burdens of ministry (I wouldn't trade them for anything, and thank God He has decided to use me in this capacity), seasonal pollen in a new(ish) state, family, and so many other things, I sometimes feel overwhelmed. This morning, in the middle of feeling overwhelmed during my rush to catch up and get ready, I felt the Lord gently asking me where my rest was. IT wasn't a clear voice, but a small, quiet voice in the back of my mind asking "Where is your rest?" I thought about the places I go to (and I'm sure many others do as well): plopping down on the couch in front of the TV, playing games on my phone/computer, going to do some activity or other, driving somewhere for a vacation, visiting relatives, and so many other things besides. With such a list of "rest activities," is it a wonder we feel stretched thin? When was the last time I sat down and was just still in the Lord? Sure, I pray, often, and usually throughout the day. But have I just sat and was still in His presence? Is He my rest?
Jesus lived and died and rose again, that we may enter in to that rest, and yet, if we have a free moment, we have to fill it with business and activities. This is not the plan. In the beginning, before the curse, God rested, and also called us in to rest. Even in the middle of the curse, God gave a day of rest. It is a day to be in nothing but His presence, both alone and with others (church and family time counts!). It is a day to reflect on His goodness, mercies, and blessings, and to focus on why we're here. Do we take it, or do we fill our extra time with busyness? Jesus says to come to Him and get rest; it's a gift we should not refuse. There is no rest apart from Him. Matthew 11:25-29 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 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.” Psalm 127:1-2
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.