Rest. Rest is so vital for our bodies. It allows us the chance to surrender for a time and then emerge fully recharged and ready to take on what this world throws our way. Rest is not an option. We’ve not only been called to rest, but we have been commanded by God to rest. If rest is a necessary part of life, why are so many of us worn down and exhausted?
A Netflix binge isn’t enough. A lazy Saturday of laying on the couch doing nothing isn’t enough. The only thing that will be enough is s soul-deep rest with our Savior, Jesus. He is the only thing that provides the relief our weary, tired souls need in this hectic, chaotic mess of a world we live in.
Matthew 11:28 (ESV) “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
With arms open wide, Jesus lovingly extends His hand out to us, beckoning us to Him. He invites us into the space with Him where our weary and tired bodies can find true rest.
Matthew 11:29 (ESV) “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.”
His offer is free. He simply asks us to join together in this life with Him, hand in hand, connected to the true vine. Both humbly and gently, He shows us by example, what true rest really is.
Matthew 11:30 (ESV) “For my joke is easy and my burden is light.”
His hand is waiting to take your hand. All you simply have to do is reach out and take hold. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace that come when you choose to live in step with Jesus. His ways are free and light.
The tug on my heart strings seemed to grow more and more with each day that passed. I was resting physically in an attempt to help myself heal emotionally and mentally. Progress was made, albeit slow. And, even though I was starting to feel somewhat better, there still resided an ache, a nagging feeling deep within calling me for more. On the outside I was resting, but my soul was not getting the true rest Jesus was essentially calling me in to.
I knew I would be unable to reach the desired level of healing I had set out to attain on the beginning of this journey unless I became honest about the amount of effort I was putting into my daily walk with Jesus. My schedule felt full, I felt busy but not overwhelmingly so, and yet, taking a closer look at ways I spending my time, it was more self-serving than Jesus-serving. Efforts might have looked good to an outsider, but ultimately, I was being drained of energy. My soul felt completely exhausted. Social media had become a big distraction for me during this time. I was super focused on posting inspirational pictures, scripture, prayers, and quotes during this time telling myself I was doing it to spread the Gospel. I was, but, not fully. Looking at the intentions of my heart with each post led me to the revelation that part of me wanted to post to gain likes and followers; to be recognized and known. Once I became transparent with myself and through prayer, an opening became available to move toward something that was life-giving and more fulfilling than what I had been doing before.
Acts 2:28 (ESV) “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.”
In the presence of Jesus is the most life-giving, fulfilling place anyone could ever find themselves to be. To find true, deep rest, taking a step back from the world and making space for Him to move, mould, and create is crucial. Any distractions would need to be set aside so that the heart could move toward prayer, silence, and scripture.
A Perfect Place to Start
The season of Lent (Lent freebie below!) is upon us and what a perfect time to cleanse from all the unnecessary distractions of this world and fill my days with Jesus. Lent is a time of preparation, to essentially prepare our hearts, minds, and bodies for Easter when we celebrate as a Christian body the ultimate sacrifice that was made on the cross by Jesus.
Jesus is pulling me into this time. My heart needs this time. My soul needs this time to get away with my Savior in order to fully recognize, worship, and celebrate His sacrifice and perfect love.
For the next 43 days, I’ll be more intentional with my time-seeking Jesus first and above all, putting aside the distractions that have crept into my days. During this time, I long to grow closer to Jesus and allow Him to change my heart, to make me more like Him. I’ll seek Him and listen for His direction and guidance, taking His hand and letting Him lead.
More prayer, less scrolling. More stillness, less fast pace. More of Jesus, less of this world.
How do you plan to celebrate Lent? Are you planning or partaking in anything special? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to know!
Now to the fun freebie linked below!
If you’re still in need of a Bible reading plan for Lent, I’ve created one for you to use. It includes 43 days of Scripture, starting March 2nd through April 14th. I’ve also put together free journaling pages for you to use for reflection or prayer during this time. Feel free to download and I hope you enjoy!