A Refuge of Rest
Written by: Jolene Combs
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Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me.
- Psalm 116:7
I wish you all could have a sneak peak into my writing space right now. My husband and I just moved into our first home about a month ago. It was and continues to be the fulfillment of so many dreams and plans we’ve been making.
I’m sitting on our back patio in one of our comfy patio chairs. The hummingbirds are flying around the feeder, stopping for a millisecond to feed before humming away. The birds and crickets are adding their symphony of sounds to the background of my thoughts as I write. The sun has set behind the house and the oppressive heat of the day is dwindling.
It is truly a refuge that I find myself in. Don’t we wish life would always surround us with smiles, peace, rest, and safety? As we all know though, that’s rarely the case. I think Jesus knew that we’d need a gentle, nudging reminder to come and find refuge in Him. That’s why He said these words in Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG):
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Doesn’t that sound familiar to our overworked, overexerted, over-examined souls?! We live in a society that assumes we can work without stopping and then come home and help our kids with their homework. It expects you to keep up with your work, school, and social life, all while finding time to call your mom occasionally. No matter your season of life, I’m sure that you’re feeling tired right about now.
So what’s stopping you from getting away, finding that refuge in Christ, and just resting in His mighty power? Oh, we can come up with all the excuses, can’t we?
“I need to finish this one last task and then I’ll rest.”
Or, “I feel like I need to push myself one more hour to make my boss happier with me.”
It’s always just one more excuse until we’re down to zero with no gas left in the tank. We find ourselves dragging with no end in sight.
If this is resonating and you feel yourself running full throttle, I pray that you just stop. Even right now. Take a deep breath in and out. And as you do, read Matthew 11:28-30 to yourself again.
God desperately wants to take your burden that you’ve been trying to run with and lift it for you. He hates to see His children struggling on their own when they have the God of the universe at their side. You know what He really wants to see? I believe one of His deepest desires for you is to see you living your life to the fullest. Living “freely and lightly” in the burdenless life that He’s holding out to you right now. So go ahead, accept His gift, rest completely, and watch His power take over in a beautiful way.
1. What are two practical steps you can take today to start taking God up on His offer of true rest?
2. What burden(s) are you struggling with that you know He wants to carry for you?
My Heavenly Father, my automatic response to life is to push harder, run harder, and try harder until I have nothing left. That is not the best You have designed for me though. When I find myself trying to do it all in my own power, please remind me that You are stronger than I could ever attempt to be. I rest in You today. Remind me again tomorrow to do the same. Amen.
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