28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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.” Matthew 11:28-29
I have been so busy for the last three weeks or so; I’ve been truly “burning the candle at both ends” as the saying goes. I have been working my regular full-time job as well as my seasonal part-time job, plus I have singlehandedly packed all my belongings and moved them into a new home, where I have also unpacked them and put them in their new places. My part-time job is in retail, and that meant working literally all night Thanksgiving night and into Black Friday. I then traveled to Georgia to visit with family and friends over the remainder of the Thanksgiving weekend.
Not surprisingly, when I finally sat down at my Mom’s house in Georgia and just took a few deep breaths, I realized that I was way beyond tired – I was flat out exhausted. I went to see my beloved Georgia Bulldogs play, and although I had a great time and enjoyed it, that did not restore me. I actually slept for 14 straight hours one night and well over 12 hours another night while I was there, but even after that, I was still not feeling rested. There was physical exhaustion to be sure, but the exhaustion went even beyond just that; I was exhausted on a soul level. Have you ever been at that place? It is a place of mental and emotional exhaustion as well as physical exhaustion that is just overwhelming.
I had a six-hour drive back from Georgia on Monday, and the Lord and I had a pretty good talk about my weariness during that trip. He reminded me of His example in Genesis for us to take a Sabbath rest once a week; He also reminded me that this is something I have seriously neglected during this season of busy-ness. Physical rest alone did not fully restore me, and it never would; I needed to go to Him for rest, for He is the source of real rest. As David says in Psalm 62:1, Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
I felt like I should do a study of the word “rest” in Scripture, and I found something very interesting in Exodus 34:21, which says, “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.” Dang. Even during the plowing and the harvest – and those times are busy! – we’re commanded to rest. That’s how important rest is for us, as the Lord knew.
Here are a couple more reminders to myself about rest:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1
Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. Psalm 116:7
I am now returning to my rest, for the Lord has been good to me. I’m going to rest in Him and Him alone. Won’t you rest in Him today also?