Sunday, September 27, 2009

Follow Jesus--and Rest?

Resting is not something that comes easily for me. Psalm 23 reads, "He makes me lie down in green pastures" (emphasis mine). That is what it takes--God making me lie down. I doubt that I am alone in this restlessness. As women, we keep going if there is a job remaining.

Yet, rest is part of God's plan from creation. If we are to be truly like Him, we must also learn to rest. On the seventh day God declared His handiwork, "Good!" and He rested.

When Jesus stilled the storm in Matthew 8, the most amazing detail to me was not that He calmed the water but that they had to awaken Him to get His help. Jesus was asleep while others manned the ship.

Jesus had a work ethic we can imitate. It is shocking to realize that He walked away from hurts, ailments and pressing crowds. He accepted that His role was not to do everything but to carry out the tasks His Father assigned Him. We need to learn, likewise, to leave a job undone if it is not our job.

We have One who promises to teach us: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is light."

We can take our IPhone, Palm Pilots and calendars before our gentle Father and ask Him to prioritize our schedule. When we feel overwhelmed with marriage, children, work, ministry and the many other responsibilities that pull on us, we should pause to consider, God's intention is not to drive us into exhaustion. On the contrary--His desire for us is rest.

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