The Rest We Really Need
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…” Is. 30:15a
I just returned from teaching at a retreat in San Antonio with the women of Redeemer Presbyterian Church. It was a blessing for me on many levels, primarily because some of my dearest friends were there with me. But it was also the theme of the weekend that really ministered to me.
When I agree to teach at a retreat I am sometimes asked to come up with a topic. Other times the theme is assigned. This time, the latter was the case and so I was asked to speak about “Resting in Jesus.” That’s a theme I can get behind in this season of my life. How about you?
I gladly dove into a study on the biblical concept of rest as I prepared and I learned a great deal. During the weekend we focused primarily on Matthew 11:28-30, the well-loved verses that speak to our need to come to Jesus for true rest:
“Come to me all you 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.”
These verses are loaded with hope but they are also packed with conviction. I am learning in this season of my life that without coming, taking and learning, there is no hope for me to find true rest. The Lord invites us to commune with Him in order to find His deep, soul-satisfying provision of rest. This rest is a sacred space we share with our Savior when the world around us is weighing us down. We often think of rest as a verb, but the rest spoken about here is first given and then secondly found. It’s His gracious gift as we turn to Him. It’s a quiet confidence found in claiming that His grace is sufficient for today and every day.
I’m really grateful for the things the Lord is teaching me in this season of my life about finding this rest. I often don’t have the ability to have long periods of quiet with the Lord like I did before having children. But this is what I’m learning: He offers His rest whenever I’m seeking Him. It may be in the carpool line, or in the moments right before I get out of bed in the morning. It may be when I’m in the produce department at HEB or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. The offer is always there to enter an abiding trust in my Savior. When I’m seeking Him, He always has something to show me whether it is a reminder of a promise in His Word, a reflection of His character through nature or a convicting nudge about a sin I need to deal with.
So let’s redefine rest and realize it’s not always about sleep (although, I’ll admit, I would love a good nap today). It’s about embracing what is offered to us each and every day as we seek to trust in Jesus. That’s the kind of rest we need most of all.