Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Ever have those moments when you are just tired? Not a “I should probably go to bed soon” or even a “Wow, that was hard work!” kind of tired, but a “I can’t move, can’t think, can’t function” kind of tired.
I’ve been there. Life is exhausting sometimes. With active kids with vastly different talents and interests, with congregational activities, with school, with work, with volunteering, with family obligations… sometimes I find myself not knowing which way is up. When we’re tired, it shows physically. When we are exhausted, we don’t make clear decisions. That’s why they say that tired driving is said to be as dangerous as drunk driving. If we are honest, we’ll admit that our minds are not as sharp but our tongues are. Think of the new parent with a child who wont sleep more than a couple of hours at a time. They are haggard. They are worn out. Our bodies need rest.
So we get that much needed vacation or couple of days off. It is a much longed for rest, right? So what do we do? We get busy. We have projects to complete, we have things to do, we have places to go. It’s time off, because we aren’t working or doing school work, or are taking a break from the norm. But is it rest? When is the last time you actually rested?
As I think about these things, I can’t help but wonder if this is what happens to me when I am physically tired, what about spiritually? What happens when I am spiritually tired? Physically we get weak and make bad decisions. Why would I think that doesn’t happen spiritually as well? I think often we go, go, go, go. We are working for the Lord. We have souls to save and there is no time to stop. But we get so busy doing and working that we forget our souls need caring for too. We need to be fed. We need our batteries recharged. We need to spend time in quiet rest.
God knew this. Of course He did. In the Bible, there are so many passages about rest. The Old Testament mentions rest from physical weariness (Gen 18:4), rest from sorrow (Ruth 1:9), rest from enemies (several places!), rest from discontent (Prov 6:35), and rest from fear (Isa 14:3). There was also a recognition of the need to rest spiritually. The Jews were given a day of rest. They were to do nothing. No work, no travel, no cooking. They were to spend that time in worshipping God and recharging themselves both physically and spiritually. The verse I quoted earlier (Matt 11:28-30) is a precious promise, because in it Christ promises rest. Not just in the hereafter, when this life is over, but rest now. “Come to me and I will give you rest.”
Spiritual rest. Peace for our minds and hearts. A recharging of our spirits and our desires. This is so very important. We need to take care that we are not missing it. So often we push ourselves. It’s like, without even realizing it, we are trying to be Super-Parents and Super-Christians. But you know, Christ needed rest. He needed to get away from it all. He knew that and He regularly took that time to step away and recharge. We need to come to a realization that we need to take care of ourselves, not just physically but spiritually as well.
When we are physically weak, accidents happen. Illnesses happen. Our immune systems are suppressed and we get sick. Spiritually speaking, the same thing happens. So guard your souls. Take the rest you need, the rest Christ offers, and recharge.