I had spent the day in at least five different stores. It was hours of putting the mask on and off and explaining my deafness and cochlear implants for what felt like a million times. I was exhausted. I wanted to go home, unplug my ears and rest, but it wasn’t possible.
I longed for a place to rest.
It had been a stressful and emotional week in ministry and relationships. People were hurting and burdened and there were miscommunication and other relational issues to work out. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted.
I longed for a place to rest.
In the middle of all of it, I am talking to God about it. I share my frustrations and weariness with Him. He is faithful to respond and to help. Although, sometimes it feels like the answers take unreasonably long to come.
One morning, I was reading from my friend and author, Suzanne Eller’s new book, “JoyKeeper.” I was in Chapter 4, and she was speaking about rest. She referenced the same verse I had just read in a devotional that morning.
“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 (NASB)
It was more than a “take off my ears” break I needed. I craved more than a Netflix bindge. I longed for a safe place to go and be for a while. I love this quote from Suzanne Eller in “JoyKeeper,” “This isn’t rest from something, but rest in something.”
I thought I needed rest from all the chaos in the world around me, and the constant work it takes me to function in this weird world we are living in right now. I believed I needed a break from the things and people around me that were emotionally and mentally draining me in those moments.
The image that comes to mind is remembering back when my children were young, and those times they were exhausted. So exhausted, they couldn’t even stand up. They would open their arms, inviting me to pick them up and to give them a safe place to be and rest. I opened up my arms and embraced them, securing that place of rest for them. There were no other expectations or rules to obey. There was nothing for them to do but to rest in my arms and go to sleep. It was a safe place for them to be.
I loved it when they opened up their arms and invited me to take them and be that place for them. I miss that place some days. That is just what my Heavenly Father wants to be for me.
Instead, just like my children sometimes would deny they were tired, or they went and tried to be busy somewhere else to avoid having to go to sleep. Other times, they would try to find ways to keep themselves awake, but they got more cranky along the way.
It would torture me inside watching my children do those things. I knew how tired they were and what it was doing to them. I wanted them to be willing to just come to me and rest, and to allow themselves to sit on my lap, let all the defenses down, and just be there with me.
I am just like my children. When I am exhausted, I start wandering around, trying to find my own solution to the problem, and attempt a self fix. Meanwhile, my Heavenly Father is waiting for me to open my arms and walk towards Him so He can be my place of authentic rest and a place to sit and be with Him.
Is your heart longing for that kind of rest? Do you crave a place just to be, and for the ability to stop doing? Are you tired of trying to find this rest on your own, to be left depleted once again?
Will you walk towards Him with open arms and allow Him to give you that place of rest?
The more I experience that exclusive, authentic place of rest, the more I want to stay there. I am asking God to teach me how to live there.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalms 91:1 (NASB)
Lord, forgive me for seeking my own solution for my weariness. Help me to dwell with You and abide in You every moment of my life. Thank You for loving me the way You do. Thank You for being that exclusive, authentic place of rest for me. Thank You for being my safe place. A place where I can just be with You. A place where I am loved and held. Continue to reveal to me when I start wandering around, trying to be busy, or find my own solutions. Continue to teach me how to truly rest in You. In Jesus Name, Amen.