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Friday, July 22, 2011

Rest

"Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
Mark 6:31 (Jesus speaking with His disciples)

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

What burdens you? What causes you turmoil in your life? Stress at work? Ambition to be successful? Family issues? Health problems? Sometimes just the busyness of daily life can be cumbersome. Bills, kids, deadlines, and on and on. They can all cause us torment, upset, and strain.

There are countless self-help books, magazine articles, and seminars regarding how to handle personal stress. We are told to identify the sources of the stress. Track your stress in a stress journal. Learn to say no. Take control of your environment. Try yoga. It is stressful just thinking about managing your stress.

Jesus tells us that we can find rest in Him. We can take all that clutter, all our overload, all of our strain, and let Him carry it for us. God assures us that there is a place of rest for His people. He wants to give us rest. That resting place is found in Jesus. When you are tired and your soul is exhausted, Jesus offers a place of refuge, a true place of rest.

Rest will not be found when the kids are grown, or you find a different job, or when you get married. These events will not bring the peace that your soul is craving. Rest will only be found when you have a deep relationship with Jesus. Rest will come when you know Him well enough that you can comfortably, with confidence, let go of the issues that are causing you to be burdened, and put them all in the hands of Jesus.

I know this is easier said than done. I have had my share of stress over the 30 plus years I have been a Christian. I have experienced divorce, single motherhood, remarriage, and financial strains. I have raised two boys and if you have raised boys, you know what a pressure cooker of stress that can be! I have struggled with depression, gone through menopause, and blanced the demands of work, family, and life in general. All that being said, I have weathered best when I have listened to Jesus gently calling me as He did His disciples,
"Come with me to a quiet place and I will give you rest."

Try Him. He promises to be there for you. He will comfort you and calm you. He will guide you and direct you. You will not be disappointed with Jesus. You will find strength when you rest in the Lord. Rest! Does that not sound wonderful? Give it all to Jesus, put your head back, close your eyes, and rest!

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