“I want you to learn what it means to rest in Me, Kristen.” I heard it clearly while I was texting back and forth with a good friend about some frustrations I was facing a couple of weeks ago.
It gave me a double take for a moment, because resting was the exact OPPOSITE of what I thought I needed to do to dig myself out of my situation.
It stuck with me, that still small voice…and as I sat down to read last night a passage from the Bible I had read a million times jumped off the page at me in a way it hadn’t before.
I grew up with the NIV translation as my trusty standby, learned how to read KJV, and dabbled with NASB and RSV over the years….but sometimes reading the same truth said just a little differently is enough to “see it for the first time.”
Here’s what I read:
“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then, come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I am gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” Matthew 11:28-30 (TPT)
Those words just washed over my soul like water on parched ground.
Those of you know me understand how completely foreign the concept of rest is to me.
The negative voice that creeps into my thoughts tells me
“Rest is losing.”
“Rest is only for when you’ve run out of productive things to do.”
“Rest is wasting the limited time you’ve got.”
“STOP” , the Father said to me.
After all, rest was so important that he devoted 1/7 of each year to it for our benefit.
So why do I struggle with rest so deeply? I believe that “the accuser” wants to keep us in a mentality that says we have to “achieve” and “strive” to be loved, to earn a reward from the Lord. To tell us that our worth is found in what we can “produce” and that the production should never end.
That is such a lie.
It’s so simple…..the Bible says that the Kingdom of God is so simple that you have to become like a child to enter it…so what does Jesus say about rest???
From that verse it is clear that to achieve true rest:
- He says to come to Him.
- Let Him refresh me like the oasis that He is.
- Join my life with His
- Learn His ways to discover his character (gentle, humble, easy to please)
- Then find refreshment in him with the understanding of whatever he asks me to do will (through him) be pleasant and easy to bear so long as I keep my eyes on him, and keep my life joined with his.
Guys, this is life changing stuff….
It’s not about trying harder, not about working more to earn rest, it’s literally coming to God, and joining your life with His….then let His rest flow over you. You enter into His rest. You walk through the door He has opened for you, and allow Him to give you rest.
It’s not about what you DO so much as who you are IN.
You don’t have to manufacture rest, you just discover the one who gives it.
WOW, so simple, but so elusive for the 36 years before that day. Thank you Jesus!
If you are looking for that rest, but don’t have it….please message me…I’d love to help you find that true rest in Christ….it is what I’ve sought for years but am now finding, praise the Lord