I woke up this morning to the sound of 53 reminders going off on my phone – 53! Is it just me or in some ways do we have a tendency in our culture to make the holidays anything but holiday-ish? Ironic that a season enshrouded in “peace” could become anything but peaceful.
Peace and restfulness, however, is a very important principle in the Kingdom of Father God. In order to model a “rest” mentality to His children, Father Himself took a break from His labor during creation and called that day the Sabbath. The Sabbath day of rest was made for man ( Mrk. 2:27). It pointed to, and was later consummated in, the finished work of Jesus’ death and resurrection (Heb.4:9). In order to re-iterate Heaven’s high value on rest Jesus said,
“Come to Me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. 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.” Matt.11:29 (ESV)
Jesus is making a stark contrast in this passage between accepting and following Him or remaining under the arduous rule of the law and teachings of the religious leaders.
Rest is a kingdom concept.
I find it comforting that Jesus encourages us to “learn” of Him in this passage. For some reason, resting seems to be something I find myself and many people that I know needing to learn.
Although the main point of Jesus’ statement above had to do with spiritual rest from trying to earn salvation from works many other places in scripture also highlight the superlative kingdom lifestyle of restfulness. One such place is found in Luke 10:38-42 where two sisters have very different ideas of what hanging out with Jesus should look like. Mary chose a restful place sitting at His feet, listening and learning of Him. Martha, however, was busy working on all the preparations needed to make a good meal for Jesus and other guests to eat. Martha was practical and before we’re too hard on her we have to realize there were preparations to be done. But this passage records a few key descriptions of where Martha was at which caused her to miss taking advantage of a beautiful moment with her Savior.
about many things…(vv 40-41)
Mhm…as one who tends to overdue her “to-do” list I can relate.
Although the world around us may constantly pump out messages like; be busy, hustle, get it done, be more, work harder, run faster etc., the kingdom of God constantly reminds us it does not value the same things. Father God calls us to and exhibits a working state that is restful. A mindfulness that keeps what really matters in front at all times.
If we are too busy for healthy relationship both with God and others…than we are too busy.
Jesus said there would be work – a “yoke” from the passage above represents work but He said it is to be “easy” and the burden “light”. Studies continue to come out about the negative effects of over-work and stress leading to compromised mental, emotional and physical health. Perhaps we all need to hear and respond to the voice of our Father calling us to come and rest with Him.
Today, let’s take a deep breath. God knows how to get things done – He also knows what really needs to get done. I pray we will become people who know how to rest in His love and give His rest to the world around us.
I wish you the most peacefully productive new-year!
A theme of resting in God floats through the pages of my new book, Servant Son’s & Daughters available now for Pre-order. You can learn more about it here