REST

IMG_7485Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,

for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.
~Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

This was one of my mom’s favorite Bible verses.  It was so fitting of her too.  She was one of the most peace-filled women I’ve ever known.  She knew how to rest.  She had an assurance and dependence on the Lord that no storm could topple.  Her faith in God, her trust in Jesus anchored her soul and gave her peace, even in some of the most challenging and difficult days of her life.

REST    PEACE    TRANQUILITY    CALMNESS    REFRESHMENT 
All of these synonyms cause me to just breathe slower and deeper.  Inhale…exhale…I need this.  How about you?

We are in a challenging time when anxious thoughts, constantly increasing statistics, and daily news can wreak havoc in our hearts, souls, and minds.  There is a challenge to stay relaxed and peace-filled in the frenzy of Covid19 and all its impacts.  Nearly every person on this planet has been affected in some way.  We all share this common threat at some level, on top of the normal daily stresses.

Calgon…take me away.
I still remember that slogan from years ago of a luxurious warm bubble bath.  Add some flickering candles and a few drops of lavender essential oil and it may be close to perfect.  I may not be as “prone to wander” these days, but I have a tendency to be “prone to worry.”  How about you?

One definition of rest at http://www.dictionary.com is “relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs.”  Yes, I would like more of this kind of rest, this kind of “peace that passes all understanding.”  Jesus promises us this kind of peace and I saw it lived out in my mom’s life.

After Jesus’s resurrection, when he appeared to His disciples for the first time, His first words to them were, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:1921)  In fact, He told them this twice.  He must have known that’s what they needed the most right then.  Before His death on the cross, some of His last words to His disciples again included the word peace.  “I have told you these things so that IN ME you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace” along with “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Everlasting Father.”  When He is comforting His disciples, He tells them to “not let their hearts be troubled“(John 14:1) as well as “Peace I leave with you;  MY peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

There’s a story found in Matthew 8:23-26 that includes Jesus, a boat, and a storm.
Waves are crashing all over the boat, a major storm is raging.  My heart and thoughts can get that way sometimes.  Despite the dangerous storm, Jesus is sleeping/resting on the boat.  He is peace-filled.  His disciples on the other hand, were not.  They woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us!  We’re going to drown!”  Jesus replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”  Then he got up and rebuked the wind and the waves, and it was completely calm.

CALMNESS. PEACE. REST.
I need those words again.  I think I’ve heard it said, “knowing God is with me through every storm helps me in any storm.”  The apostle Peter reminds me to “Cast all my anxiety on Him, because He cares for me.“(1 Peter 5:7)  He cares for you also, dear one.  Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Our Father God wants us to come to Him.  He is always there.  He is a refuge and strength in the middle of the storm and He hears our every call.

Our hearts, minds, souls can be at peace when we are resting on Jesus.

IMG_0704

 

Rely

Entirely on your

Savior’s

Timing and trustworthiness

He is here to give us some much needed rest for our hearts and souls.

“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 how to live freely and lightly.”  ~Matthew 11:28-29 (The Message)

“Let the Beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields them all day long, and the one the Lord loves (that would be every single one of us) rests between His shoulders.” ~Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV)

“Truly my soul finds rest in God;  my salvation comes from Him.  Yes, my soul, find rest in God;  my hope comes from Him.”  ~Psalm 62:1,5 (NIV)