I’m trying to be patient and trusting about something today. And it’s so hard. I keep giving it to Jesus. And then taking it back. Giving it to Jesus. And taking it back. I’m exhausted from going back and forth so many times. It makes me wonder why I can’t just bring it to Jesus, and leave it there, in a heap at His feet. I can’t make it better, I can’t speed it up. So why am I doing this to myself over and over? Just above my desk I have a lavender sticky note that says, “Jesus, what are you inviting me to today?” As I was about to pick my troubles up, yet again, I took a moment to ask Jesus that question, to which he responded “To trust me.” That’s a hard one at times, for a recovering control freak like me. But I’m going to give it a shot. After all, every other time when I have trusted Jesus, and left it to him, it’s turned out fine. In fact, better than fine. It seems to turn out better than I could ever have imagined. And so, now, I’m going to bring my troubles to Jesus, and just leave them with him. And not take them back in five minutes.
How about you? What is Jesus inviting you to today? What do you need to leave with him?
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”
So often in our lives, rest becomes the last thing on our list of things to do. We do as much as we can in a day, and in a week, and cut our hours of rest and sleep down so that we are able to get more accomplished. At times this may result in us being less effective in our ministries and less caring to those around us as we can get exhausted and irritable. What might happen if we flipped this pattern around put rest at the top of the list?
Rest is a form of caring for oneself and connecting with God, and it is an important part of a healthy walk with God. In his book, “Let Your Life Speak”, Parker Palmer writes “Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”
In scripture we are invited to come to Jesus to receive rest that truly refreshes us. In Matthew 11 Jesus invites us to rest in Him.
“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.” (The Message)
As we continue to journey through Lent, I invite you to set aside some burdens if you are able to. Take a brief moment (or an hour, or even a day if you can!) to hand these burdens over to Jesus and rest in His presence.
Lord Jesus we confess that at times we are overwhelmed with the needs around us. We pray today that we will have the courage to set these burdens before you and to embrace the rest and refreshment that you offer to us. May we walk in your strength and not our own.