April 13, 2016
Finding True Rest
“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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
“Whaaat do you waaaant?!?!” I bellowed with frustration, loud enough so my teenage son could hear me upstairs. He had just eagerly called my name and in my haste, I replied with anger.
“Mom, I just wanted to tell you that I had finished cleaning my room without you even asking me. I thought you would be excited,” he replied meekly.
Ugh. Instantly I was overcome with guilt.
Wearily, I apologized: “I am so sorry, Tyler. Everyone is trying to talk to me at the same time, the dogs won't stop barking and the house is a mess. I am just overwhelmed, and I shouldn’t have responded that way. I’m sorry.” I was trying to justify myself as much as I was apologizing!
Wow, where did that come from? I wondered. It’s amazing to me how motherhood can bring out the best in us, but also the worst. Being a mom can expose the true condition of our hearts.
As the years have quickly passed and my children are getting older, I have slowly come to the conclusion that pretty much every time I am feeling irritable and on edge, there is one thing missing from my day.
He is the One who makes even the chaos seem peaceful. My day always goes better when I first pause to spend time with Him. I used to think that I had to get away and go somewhere like a particular place that had been well planned out. But I’ve discovered something very different.
Rest doesn’t have to mean getting away from the noise, the busyness, the work or even the to-do list! Rest can be found right in the middle of it all.
How? Because our rest is ultimately found in a Person. Rest is found in Jesus. The joy and peace I need starts by running to Him, abiding in Him, trusting in Him and staying close to Him.
A soul at peace, no matter what is going on around me, is settled by clinging to Jesus' words and walking in Jesus' ways.
Matthew captures the promise of peace and rest Jesus offers when he records Jesus’ words, “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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
That’s the rest I need. It’s where my soul is most satisfied. I can’t create Christlikeness on my own, but as I come to Jesus, He shares His life with me. Through the work of His Spirit in me, I am being made new. Who He is changes who I am, and I can have an easy soul when I rest in Him.
Rest. Peace. A soul not easily moved. A mom who is strong when she is weak. All of this Jesus offers if we would just come to Him.
For you, that might look like waking up 30 minutes earlier, sneaking away from your day for 15 minutes or taking a break from work to go for a short walk outside. For all of us, the time may look different, but the result is the same. When we press pause and find the quiet moments to meet with Jesus, He changes us. We can give the best of who we are by first giving ourselves to Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessing of being a mom. Remind me daily of the quiet moments I need to spend with You. Help me find my rest in You and in You alone. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 62:5, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus, a new devotional for moms by Ruth Schwenk and Karen Ehman, offers you a calm way to start your day, to refresh yourself in Jesus and drink deeply of His presence, so that you are ready to pour out love, time and energy into the people who matter most to you. Just a few minutes each day can help you center your heart and mind on what God has for you, His beloved daughter.
Resist the rush, halt the hustle and learn to find some calm in the chaos. Visit PressingPauseBook.com.
Learn more about Ruth at her website, The Better Mom.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Finding time alone with Jesus can be difficult. What will you do to ensure you take that much needed quiet time each day?
© 2016 by Ruth Schwenk. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 13 April 2016.