"Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee" -Augustine of Hippo
This past month has been one of the busiest, most stressful months in my 21 years. October flew by and it's already November. As I had a few moments today to just sit, read, and write I began to ponder on a word that I think a lot of us wish we had more of. Rest.
I just feel like I am not alone when it comes to feeling beaten down, tired, worn out, burned out and more.
When the isolation seems more real than ever and the depression that creeps in and out. I feel like I can't be the only one who just wants rest.
The "Please just 5 more minutes of sleep." "No more assignments due." "Relationships that are happy and healthy." Rest.
But reality is that you might not get a break in the action. And more and more you may feel like Job in Job 3 " I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes." (3:28)
So what do we do?
Are we destined to burn through the struggles of life not feeling any peace? Praise God, the answer is no. Jesus provides an answer.
In Matthew's gospel he says. "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (11:28)
What do we do when we feel beaten down, exhausted and torn apart? When the weight of assignments keep piling up and life is flying by? Jesus says you go to Him.
That's it? Just go to Jesus.
It can't be that simple. What are the systematic steps to achieving rest?
None, just go to Him.
The word Jesus spoke in that verse is the word anapao, (thanks Blueletterbible.com) which directly translates to:
To cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength.
To keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation.
The rest Jesus is talking about is the rest we want. It's recovery. It's renewed strength. It's calm, patient expectation that Jesus is coming and that the hurt of this world WILL come to an end. That He will wipe away every tear from our eye, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.
Rest isn't less busy. Rest is worshiping in the busyness.
When we rest, we get Him and when we get Him, there is nothing else we need.
So for every college student that has 3 projects, 2 tests, a paper, financially struggling, and you still don't know what you are doing with your life, go to Him.
For every mom who is trying to balance all that the world throws at her, all while doing it with a smile on her face, go to Him.
For every high school student who is dealing with both school and relationships, and the big decisions of growing up, go to Him.
In the hurt, go to Him. In the isolation, go to Him. In the cancer, go to Him. In the _______, go to Him.
Charles Spurgeon puts it this way, "We have a thousand times considered these words as an encouragement to the laboring and the laden; and we may therefore, have failed to read them as a promise to ourselves. But, beloved friends, we have come to Jesus, and therefore He stands engaged to fulfill this priceless pledge to us. We may now enjoy the promise; for we have obeyed the precept. The faithful and true Witness, whose word is truth, promised us rest if we would come to Him; and, therefore, since we have come to Him, and are always coming to Him, we may boldly say, "O Thou, who art our Peace, make good Thy word to us wherein Thou hast said, 'I will give you rest."
Jesus is the only one who can give rest in the hardest time because He is the only one who IS rest. Steal away time with the Lord. Forcibly quit the craziness. Carve out some stillness to sit with Jesus and His Word. In He who is rest, we find Rest.
*Photo taken by myself at Tour De Compardes (October 2016)