These past few months have been tiring. Well, to be honest, very
tiring. It seems that so many things are changing at once: having to adapt our
lives, families, jobs, church, and leisure activities. Some of us can’t blow
off steam like we used to or relieve stress in the methods that we were relying
so much on. I can’t wait for the day to have my family and friends over for a
barbecue. I keep telling them that ribs are amazing when they’re cooked in a
smoker, but until I’m able to share some with them, I’ll just have to eat the
whole rack by myself.
Being tired, however, is not anything new. Life has always been a roller coaster that has its ups and downs, and seasons of busyness and rest seem to always come as intended. But lately, it’s been a little different. I’ve been asking God, when will we be able to rest? But I don’t necessarily mean physical rest; we need to rest our minds, rest our souls, and be at rest with our families.
Lately, I’ve been reminding myself of Matthew 11:28; "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (NIV).
I’m going to be honest with you, when I read this passage, the first Word that comes to my mind is: How?
I don’t doubt God, I believe and trust in what He says, but the human side of me just has to ask that question: how? I’m a practical guy and clear direction works well with me. So I ask Jesus, how can I obtain this rest that you promise?
I believe the answer to that is in the following two verses; “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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:29-30).
The Message translation puts it this way:
28-30 “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.”
God knows the pressures of life. He knows when that next bill is coming up. He knows the results of that physical. He knows just how complicated relationships can be. But even in the middle of all this, He says to follow Him and He will give us rest. I’m a firm believer that if we put God first, He would take care of - not only us - but those around us (read Matthew 6:33).
So I encourage you now to put God first. In spite of everything that has happened, God is still in full control as He always has been. Yesterday, today, and forever, God is still on His throne. He is not shaken. He is not stirred.
In the words of an old hymn:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus
look full in His wonderful face”
(...and I love this part...)
“and the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace”.
Mauricio Paredes is the Junior High Pastor