“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (KJV)
A few years ago I started meeting with a spiritual direction coach. Some might call her a counselor. I surely wanted to. Because I wanted her to counsel me and tell me what to do. But this amazing woman couldn’t do that. . .wouldn’t do that. Her heart was to help me find a place of rest and comfort for my weary soul. . .
a place that is right next to the Giver of Rest, the Prince of Peace.
She often gave me scripture reading exercises. In all of my 30+ years of living (most of them with Jesus in my heart), I never studied the Word this way – so personally. This particular time, she instructed me to read Matthew 11:28-30.
“Read it through 3 times slowly, noticing if any words or phrases stand out to you. If they do, just stop and listen. At the end of the reading, picture Jesus standing before you, place your burden in his arms. Let him carry it for you. Notice what you are feeling. If you find yourself taking it back, then give it back again. Be gentle with yourself through this process.”
And so I did. The Word came alive to me like it never had before as I pictured Jesus standing there, taking my weariness into his arms, carrying every burden. How had I missed this opportunity before? To physically give it all to him? I read the verses in The Message that day. . .
“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)
Wow. If ever the son of God was speaking straight to my mother heart, it was in these verses. At the time, I was struggling to become pregnant again. I was in the process of asking the Lord why in regards to my infertility journey. And then I read, “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.” My infertility was not ill-fitting. It was exactly what he knew would be. He had created me to walk through that journey, for his purposes. But it was a burden, nonetheless, and this did not surprise him. He was always ready and willing to carry it for me.
Mamas, whatever it is that burdens your days. . .toddler tantrums, financial hardship, marital struggles, a stressful job, family drama, prodigal children, never.ending.laundry. . .your circumstances are not ill-fitting. He knew you would be right where you are. He’s standing right there with you, ready to take the burdens of your weary soul into his arms if you’ll let him.
“Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. . .Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Sure, a day at the spa every now and then will do wonders for our weary souls. But we are invited to walk with Jesus daily; keeping step with the rhythms of his grace. And that, my friends, has more lasting effect than any 90 minute hot stone massage. It’s a life-giving and life-sustaining “real rest.”
What are some ways you have found effective to find rest in the savior?
Today is the last day of our 12 Days of Giveaways! We are thrilled to be giving away a $100 Spa Finder gift card today to one person who surely needs physical rest for their body. You may enter below but remember, each entry for giveaway days 1-11 (which will remain open until midnight, Friday) will be another entry for the Spa Finder prize. So make sure you go back and check out all of our giveaways for the week!
It has been so much fun to get to know many of you this week through your support and comments. We look forward to many grace-filled conversations that will happen in this space. Thank you for getting us off to a great start!
*I just love how literal the British are. I found that to be the case many times as I read the signage around London. This picture is no exception. Since we don’t always have the writing on the bench, we are left to follow the leading of Jesus in finding rest for our weary souls. We’re in good hands.