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Rest

God has invited me into a time of rest. I am very faithful to my call to rest on the Sabbath. I know the value of honoring the Sabbath. I have been practicing that spiritual discipline for many years. I don’t think I could get half of what I get done without the joy of Sundays spent with God and family, but what I’m talking about is a stronger call to rest. I recently injured myself and God has used that to invite me to rest. The only way for my bodily injury to heal is for me to be restful. I’m looking for every opportunity to obey God’s call and receive His invitation to rest. I’ve called friends to ask if I can come to their house in the afternoon between meetings just to rest. I’m finding it takes real work and commitment to rest. I love the way Keri Wyatt Kent describes rest in her book Breathe:

We are created in the image of God, and he modeled for us a way of life that makes sense for how we are created. Here's how to dance the dance of life, he said: work, be creative, use your imagination, throw yourself into it, whether you are washing dishes, reading to your kids and running a household, or trading stocks, reading corporate reports, and running a business. ...At the end of each day, stop. Take a rest, eat a good meal, get enough sleep, and refresh yourself. Take time to think about your day, to notice where God was in it and where you were blessed, and to say, It's good. Then go back at it the next day. And after six days, take a whole day off. And say, It's really good. Spend a whole day just pausing, just reflecting on how really good it is, and then start the dance again, at a sustainable pace.

Keeping a sustainable pace comes naturally to some people, but it is hard work for me. It’s hard work for my husband, too. This summer I taught from Matthew 28:11, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I was led to explain this phrase from Scripture as an invitation. Everyone Jesus loves is invited. It’s a unique invitation, and the first three words must connect to your soul to decode the message.

In order to receive this invitation, the first part is "to come". Rest requires that you come to a new place and a new pace. The places and paces that almost take over your life are not necessarily the places, and paces in which Jesus will give you rest. If I’m going to rest, I must come to Jesus and come away from my regular places.

The second key to unlocking Jesus’ invitation is that I need to "come to". It’s Jesus’ words that alert me to the reality that I need rest. I naturally think that I need to work harder, to do something. Jesus wants me to come to, to the fact that my life is moving at a frantic pace. Sometimes we can get in a cycle where we ourselves working harder than ever and accomplishing less and less. In order to rest, we must come to the fact that we need rest. My injury helped me come to this fact.

The third aspect of rest is finding that all we need is in Christ. He is the one thing that cannot be taken away. I am resting more—I promise. I’m accomplishing so much in spite of my rest. I may have misspoken because I’m getting the credit for what is accomplished, but it is HE Who is making these things come together. He is paving the way for me. He accomplishes my work for me.

Are you weary and burdened?—Come, be willing to leave the place and pace you have been, Come To and realize that you are indeed weary and burdened and in need of help. Then Come To Jesus and you will find rest for your souls—and if you are like me, you’ll find more work getting done than ever.

 

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