What Is Rest?

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What do you think of when you hear the word rest? How about an afternoon nap after enjoying a good meal? Catching some zzzz’s while your little one is at a play date?  Taking days off to exhale and be refreshed, or floating in the pool with no schedule to meet? Whatever comes to mind, we all need physical rest to allow our bodies to recoup and be able to get up the next day and do it again!

Jesus extends an invitation to us in Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me and I will give you rest – all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke for it fits perfectly and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.”  TLB

(The Greek work for rest means to repose, be exempt, by implication to refresh, take ease….rest)

As much as we need physical rest we also need spiritual rest. After we become God’s children He wants us to rest in Him. Beth Moore included the following nine things in one of her studies:

“God wants us to rest in knowing:

  • I don’t have to perform for God
  • I’m acceptable to God
  • I’m not in charge of all my loved ones
  • I’ve done everything I know to do in that situation
  • I’m exempt from that class or that project
  • God will fight for me
  • If I obey He will bless
  • Who I am and who I am not
  • Where I am going….this is not my home.”

We can become exhausted and get tied in knots by forgetting any one of these. I’m sure we all have a membership into the “Yeah, I identify with that_______”   We have to remind ourselves daily to whom we belong and rest in that truth and all its promises.  Maybe like me you have at times taken three steps forward and then two steps back. Don’t be discouraged. God is always in our corner rooting for us and waiting to help. You and I just have to listen, obey, surrender, and take that next step!!

 

Blessings

The WM Team 

Christmas Joy

It was my 5th store looking for that perfect gift. Christmas was still three weeks away and I was already exhausted. Work obligations and gatherings with family and friends had not slowed down since Thanksgiving. I desperately wanted some time to exhale. Can you relate? I can’t help but wonder is this what God wants? I got into my car to head home without the item I had hoped to find. There was baking to be done tonight for the elementary school celebration.

As I pulled into the driveway I couldn’t help but notice the bright star right above our home. Was God trying to tell me something? I walked into the house to be greeted by our pair of terriers so excited to have anyone home. Shortly after, the kids came in the door with their dad, dirty and tired from soccer. While they hit the showers, my husband came into the kitchen and gave me a quick hug, too quick. I just wanted to stay embraced in his arms for a little while longer. He opened the fridge door and retrieved a soda. Brushing past me he went to change clothes and find a game on TV to watch.

I pulled all the ingredients out for the dessert I was making and begin to blend the flour with cocoa. Opening the pantry door to throw away the empty containers I was looking at an overflowing bag. Once again our son had not taken out the trash even though we had just discussed this with him two days ago.  Sitting the containers down I pulled the bag out, tied it up, and went out back to put it in the large trash can. There was that star again, was it brighter than when I first got home? I stood there just gazing at it, and once again couldn’t help but wonder if God was trying to get my attention. The wise men had followed a star that led them to the Messiah.

Walking back inside I finished the dessert and went upstairs to take a long bath. After soaking for thirty minutes, I got up with my skin looking like a prune. Putting my robe on I walked over to the window and there it was again. The star! Just like a light being switched on, it hit me. God was telling me, “Stay focused on Me. After all I am the reason for all this celebrating.”

Have you ever felt like you were the last one to get something? My heart had been aching for some peace and it was right there all the time in Jesus. He had put that star in front of me three times saying, “I’m here, just whisper my name.” We find ourselves exhausted from our schedules. God says, “Come and sit with me awhile. Take time to truly enjoy Me and the gifts I have given you.” He tells us, “Be still and know I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

“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.”  ~  Matthew 11:28-29

Father, forgive us when we get caught up in the hustle and bustle, and before we know it we have left You out of Christmas. Without you there would be no Christmas!  May we be intentional about exhaling, resting in you, and rejoicing in the gift of Your love and salvation. Keep us sensitive to the ways you speak to us, even by a star. Amen.

Blessings,

The WM Team

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(image credit: crosswalk.com)