We wake up every day with the demands of this world rushing us here and there. There’s the media voices clamoring for our attention with the sensational. There’s someone’s unwelcome drama continually knocking on the door. There’s wrestling matches with decisions, decisions and more decisions. And then, there’s the failure to manage it all with grace. Ugh. So there we are, weighed down with the funk of a thousand years and it’s barely lunchtime.
Where do you go to get away? to rest, refresh & feel renewed?
I don’t mean a faraway place you go for vacation – I mean a spot so convenient to you, that should you be suddenly overwhelmed, you can escape and arrive at your safe place in minutes – even seconds.
“Tell me, O You whom My soul loves, where do you pasture Your flock, where do You make it lie down at noon?” -Song of Solomon 1:7a
When we’re in the heat of the moment, with anxiety bearing down on us, we can become paralyzed and forget our safe place in Christ.
At least I know I can…
Instead of immediately looking to Him, my mind races for solutions, frets over outcomes & failures and on it goes until I’m completely mentally and emotionally drained. I may as well add physically zapped too, because our systems work together or NOT.
But lately, the Spirit has been impressing an often used verse on my heart & mind.
“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 will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30
I used to consider it to be a verse appropriate for the unsaved – people who had never met Christ personally, but now I realize that it’s just as much for His own to use over & over & over again. We’ve met Him, but in our humanness (and sheep-ness) we forget. We go astray.
Hopefully, underneath all that anxiety, we’ll look up to Him and remember His Words…
“Come to Me” He’s an oasis to weary travelers every moment of every day.
“rest” Every day, many times a day, I need to re-orient my gaze. When we fix our eyes on Him rather than the pressures of this life, the burden lifts and we can rest.
“learn from Me“ We make the mistake of learning from the wrong teachers and suffer for it, becoming weary and heavy-laden. We need to leave off following bad teachers and look only to Him and His ways. And, He knows we need practice. Lots of it.
“gentle” oh my this draws me near… He isn’t harsh or cruel. He’ll show us the right way… again.
“humble in heart” He’s not like us. He’s GOOD through & through.
“My Beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedi.” -Song of Solomon 1:14
Thank God for the Words that breathe LIFE into our weary souls.
…and if that weren’t enough, He’s so gracious to give us physical places of escape. It’s that thing or things unique to you & me that delight us. For me, it’s gardening, painting, journaling & listening to music. I find that I’m better able to handle the stress of life if I’m consistently able to enjoy time in nature or being creative.
I used to feel guilty for giving myself time for these things when there were so many other responsibilities to take care of, but now I understand that refueling ourselves and developing our talents is one of those responsibilities.
Isn’t it encouraging to consider that the Creator of the universe lived as a carpenter? Surely, He spent a lot of time practicing and enjoying His craft.
When Jesus’ attention turned to teaching, He still often escaped from the crowds when there were still plenty of needy people around. If Jesus needed time for renewal, so do we.
In all your plans for today, I hope you make time for those things that renew you. By doing so, we find the grace in ourselves to refresh others and the Giver of all good gifts is honored.
Resting in Him with you, Jamie =)