"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, September 17, 2010

REST FOR THE WEARY

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."


Not again! Really?
The aroma of burnt hamburger lingered in the air. How did I manage to get so distracted that I charred our dinner? How good are tacos with burnt meat anyhow? In the midst of helping my boys with homework, I went downstairs to start another load of laundry. On my way upstairs I noticed a dirt pile by the front door. No cleaning fairy in our house. Then, I remembered I forgot to check the mail. When I made it back inside the phone was ringing. The firefighters were looking for support. It was when I hung up the phone I noticed yogurt painted on the slider door. How in the world did yogurt grace itself on the slider? Hhhmmm. And of course, when I made it back to the kitchen the boys were just "starving" and had to have a snack. Well, I thought, there is yogurt on the slider if you're that hungry!

Back to the mail. I open up our property tax statement. My blood begins to boil when I notice that despite the failing economy, our property values have seemed to increase enough to raise our property taxes. Are you kidding me?! The phone rings again. This time I decide to let the machine get it. We just can't afford to support another worthy cause since our TAXES went up. It is a collection agency sending a warrant for the arrest of Juan Sanchez if he doesn't pay his debt. I pick up the phone to settle the matter, trying to convince the lady she has the wrong number. After hanging up the phone my youngest yells, "Uh, oh, Mom!" Whenever a mother hears those words she never knows what to expect. When I make it to his bedroom I see that he is holding the ceiling fan chain that is mysteriously unattached. Somehow he thought that jumping from the bed and yanking the chain was a Tarzan move he was allowed to do. Don't overreact, I tell myself. Hhhmmm. Back to the burnt dinner. Whew!

It was one of those days. You know the kind. When you feel like you are being squeezed in a vice. When you know you need more than a vacation. A friend of mine said it like this: When you would rather be a missing person. We have all experienced how the demands of life can be draining at times. I'm confident a few who are reading this are feeling overwhelmed and weary. Some of us are ready to give up. Some are feeling burned out.

What are we to do when we feel we cannot take anymore? Friends there is hope for the rest we desire. There is an answer for the chaos the world throws at us. Jesus teaches us where to turn when we are depleted.

Matthew 11:28-30 extends an invitation to everyone who is tired and exhausted. Jesus gives an instruction for those who are burdened by life and worn out by living. He simply says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Our souls are in need of the rest we are missing.

The people Jesus was addressing in this passage were oppressed and burdened by the religious legalism imposed by the Pharisees. The people experienced tremendous guilt for not being able to keep the Law. Their yoke kept getting heavier and heavier. Jesus tells them to put their neck under His yoke and follow Him. His burden is light. Romans 8 teaches that Jesus accomplished what the Law could not. No more Law keeping was necessary. While the context of this verse is related to the yoke of the Pharisees, the principle to come to Jesus for rest is still applicable to our lives today.

Where do you turn when you feel burdened by life? Some turn to food, shopping, sleep, TV, our friends, our spouse, and other indulgences. Sometimes we are neglecting the very person that would help us turn our chaos into calm, our rushing into resting, and our weariness into worship.

This passage offers us hope. Are we ready to come to Jesus with our weary hearts and receive the rest we long for? Recognizing Jesus as our source of refreshment and our source of strength will enable us to acknowledge that we cannot be an effective wife, mother, friend, co-worker, _____________, without Him. We need Him everyday!


Heart Work:
Confess and repent if you are neglecting Jesus as your source of refreshment and strength.

Evaluate your current priorities, according to the season of life you are in. Then, not only set boundaries around these priorities but guard them.

Heart Examination:
Am I creating some of my own chaos? Do I need to say "no" to something? Is my schedule overcommitted to others but not committed to God? What can I do to change this?

Am I relying on my own strength to make it through each day or am I relying on God's strength?

Where do I turn when I am overwhelmed and depleted?

Heart Changing Word:

Matthew 11:28 (NIV) "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."

Exodus 33:14 "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Psalm 62:1 "My soul finds rest in God alone."

Psalm 62:5 "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him."

Isaiah 40:29 "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."



Copyright 2010 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.