God Will Give You Rest - iBelieve Truth - April 9, 2024

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Every year, I take a silent retreat. The retreat center is located in a beautiful area on a bay. During this time, I get closer to God and seek to become more in tune with the Holy Spirit. I take a blank notebook and sit out by the water. I watch boats go by and watch the birds fly overhead. For forty-eight hours I give myself permission to be silent. For some, this may be difficult. But for me, I love it. It's time to focus only on the Lord and what he has to say to me. 

Sometimes God reveals behaviors for which I need to repent. Other times he wants to comfort me when I’m going through a difficult situation. Sometimes, he just tells me he loves me. I'm no longer distracted by screens, phones, work, or any other life task that's ahead of me. It is here God speaks to me. I hear him in a myriad of ways. One year, I heard him speak to me as I watched two birds interact with each other by the water. I watched them eat food from the shore and then fly away together in harmony. God reminded me about the importance of community through this interaction. Although writing is a solitary endeavor, I need community even in the writing world. Above all, silence gives me permission to rest. I'm forced to shut off all technological devices and not interact with anyone, not even my husband. It is when I get this rest that I hear the Lord speak to me the clearest. 

Scripture tells us about the importance of rest. God wants us to cast all our cares on him. His will for us is never to be weary or heavily laden with the burdens of this world. Instead, he wants us to give all our worries to him so that he can handle them. It’s when we are in tune with the Spirit and allow ourselves to rest physically, mentally, and emotionally that we're able to find him waiting for us with open arms. He longs to be with us. It's difficult to find rest when I'm carrying heavy burdens. Whether it is emotional pain, mental anguish, or racing thoughts, it is hard to focus on God when I'm overthinking and focusing solely on trying to fix my own problems. This is not the life God wants for us. He wants us to live our lives free of anxiety, worry, and fear. Rest is a necessary ingredient of our Christian walk. But we often fail to take the rest we need. 

In Matthew 11:26-27, Jesus praises his Father for revealing things to little children instead of to wise and educated people. Jesus then says the Father only knows the Son and the Son only knows the Father. Verse 28 seems out of place compared to these two verses. Could it be that a key component in knowing God is to give all our cares to him and allow ourselves to rest in him? Although rest seems counterintuitive in our on-the-go world, Matthew tells us we cannot know the Father unless we allow ourselves to rest. 

Consider one way God might be calling you to rest. Is it to take a full twenty-four-hour Sabbath? Is it to cut off all phone devices for the weekend? Is it to stop staring at screens or other devices to entertain us and instead immerse ourselves in the Word of God? When we get rid of all the distractions in life and allow our minds and bodies to rest, we find God the most. When we seek to do his will by coming to him with our burdens, resting in him, and casting our anxiety on him, we find rest both for our bodies and our souls. 

Father, allow us to rest today. Let's find pockets of places where we can rest. Let's cast all our cares on you through prayer and meditation. Help us meditate on your words so we can rest fully in you. Amen.

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Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.com.

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Are you a Christian mom trying to juggle work and home? You're not alone! I'm Rebekah Scott, host of The Encourager Podcast, where I share insights gained from 15+ years of balancing family and running a business. My aim is to help you find harmony inall your important roles. Join me as we explore ways to create systems for success at home and work while keeping it real!

In this episode, we're simplifying spring cleaning with two easy tips for each of our five systems: Me, Food, Family, Work and Home. Join us as we explore practical ways to bring joy and simplicity into your home and work life! And if you love what you hear, be sure to subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode! 

Originally published Tuesday, 09 April 2024.