Feeling anxious lately? The weight of this world can be a heavy burden to bear, especially if you're experiencing a personal crisis, too. Luckily for us, we have a Savior is who is near to us and promises His peaceful presence. Jesus is powerful and capable of miraculous things, but today we're focusing on a piece of His character that's a bit more slowed down, a bit more relaxed and purposeful. He gives us the gift of true rest. Are you ready to receive the rest that He has for you today?
We're unpacking all the ways Jesus provides divine rest for our souls—the kind of rest we cannot find anywhere else in Creation, though we try! Without further ado, here are a few ways we can count on Jesus to provide the ultimate rest we've been longing for and so desperately need.
“Come 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 28:11-30
These are some of the most comforting words ever uttered. Like soothing aloe on a harsh burn or hot tea on a bitter, cold day. We come to this infamous passage for healing, for a reprieve from the cold realities of our world.
We sprint through each day, from work to family duties, and back to work again. We keep our heads down and do as we're told. We meet deadlines, we raise our kids to our best efforts, and we make it happen. By day's end, we crawl into bed and think about what we've done. Instead of feeling proud or accomplished, an entirely new feeling washes over us. Numbness. Exhaustion. Apathy. We are shells of our former selves.
We're fine working ourselves to death, as long as our calendars are filled and we are "busy"—a dangerous thing to strive for and an even crueler god.
Work is a good thing, especially when it's the work God has provided you with an innate passion and skill to do the job well. However, work and busyness, in general, can quickly take the place of God when gone unchecked.
Think of today as a checkpoint. You've been cruising on your own path for quite some time now. You've hummed along and put on the miles, but it's time for a pitstop on the side of the road. This is the time to take a few minutes, assess your operations, and see how you're really feeling. Don't worry, we'll get you back up on your way in no time, but this is the "rest check" you need to be whole.
Remember, you are more than a list of accomplishments and calendar invites. You are more than your productivity output and community service endeavors. You are a son or daughter of Christ, first and foremost.
Your heritage requires no effort, your salvation requires no proof of well-intentioned work and hours served. The gift of God's presence has been given to you freely.
Not because you deserve it and certainly not because you've somehow earned it. Our God's grace has been made abundantly clear in your life, and it is because of Him that this divine rest is made available to you.
"There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience." ~ Hebrews 4:9-11
You've probably heard us emphasize the power of Sabbath before, and for good reason. Sabbath is an integral part of our spiritual lives. Not only does it provide a natural rhythm for our weeks, but it allows us to take time to pause, stop our working, and simply enjoy everything God has given us. Just as God rested on the 7th day of creation, we also are called to enter into this rest, too. To learn more about this practice, check out our blog post specifically dedicated to it here.
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” ~ Psalm 23
This passage of Scripture is definitely one to meditate on. Whenever you feel anxious or overwhelmed, or you simply need a reminder of who Jesus is, turn to this collection of verses from Psalm 23.
Jesus is the ultimate rest. We don't have to make ourselves better to come to Him. We don't have to earn His attention. With Him, we lack nothing. When I read this I think of a powerful quote by theologian C.S. Lewis.
"Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in." ~ C.S. Lewis
This can be true of our pursuits when it comes to busyness, too. We may seek to find value and meaning in our work, our daily habits, our full calendar, or our long list of to-do's in our planner, but at the end of the day, those things will not fill our cup. We'll still long for something more. But with Christ, we will find the rest we've been so desperately looking for, and everything else thrown in.
A Peaceful Reminder
How are you feeling after this pitstop? A Little more rested? Still anxious? We hope this blog post serves as a gentle reminder to checkin with yourself often and take those much-needed breaks. Take little moments throughout the day to reflect on Scripture and connect with Jesus—our true source of rest. Need another reminder to pause and look up? Check out our collection of Christian t-shirts with inspiring images and Bible verses to keep you hopeful and at peace.