Strength for the weary soul

Photo by Kamaji Ogino on

Have you ever felt weary and worn out from the hustle and bustle of life? We tend to go into overdrive trying to get everything done in a day so we feel like we have accomplished something. Now with Christmas upon us, we tend to throw even more responsibilities upon ourselves that we really don’t need. It’s hard for us to wait and finish tomorrow what we could cram into today.

Waiting is something God asks us to do so many times, and yet something we are horrible at doing. It seems like the longer I have to wait for something, the more anxious I become. My mind begins to think up the worse case scenario possible for every situation. Even now, I am thinking about everything I have to do, and everything that God has asked me to wait on and I am quite anxious. I have to admit, I think I have failed God in the waiting process. Psalm 37:7 says:

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”

As I look at this verse, I begin to wonder how do you find rest when everything around you looks so uncertain? Is the answer in having a complete, unwavering faith in God knowing that He will take care of you no matter what? I don’t know about you, but I tend to be the type of person who doesn’t handle uncertainty very well. I like stability and I like to have things planned out so I am not taken by surprise. When something ruins my plans, or tends to get out of my control, anxiety and fear begin to increase and I usually end up fighting a losing battle in my mind because I didn’t give my circumstances over to God. Many times, I feel like I have come to a place of complete brokenness. How many times in my life could I have spared myself all of this drama by just giving everything over to God and resting in Him? Would things have turned out differently? Maybe not differently, but my response to the circumstance knowing that God was in full control would have given me a peace that passes all understanding.

Webster’s Dictionary defines rest as: a state or period of inactivity, relaxation, or sleep. To lie down. To be at peace or ease. To depend; rely.

Looking at this definition really causes me to look at the above verse in a different light. God doesn’t want us to be worried and anxious about what tomorrow holds, or about what we can or cannot get done in a day. He wants us to rest and be confident in Him knowing that He will work everything out for our good in His perfect timing. We don’t need to weary ourselves out by trying to figure everything out on our own. God has a plan and a purpose for everything.

I am reminded of a game we played when I was younger. I’m sure most of you have played the same game. We would have someone stand in front of us and tell that person to fall back into our arms. The person falling back had to make a decision on whether or not they trusted their friends enough to catch them. Most of the time, we would trust our friends to catch us and the game went on. There was, however, a time when we played this game with our youth group when my husband and I were youth pastors and he was making a point and the girl fell back before he was ready and he missed catching her. She didn’t get hurt but it was the joke of the church. If we can place this much trust in our earthly friends, why do we find it difficult to place trust in our Heavenly Father? After all, He is the One who created us. He knows our every weakness, our every pain, the reason behind every tear we cry, and yet we still have a hard time trusting and resting in Him.

Isaiah 40:31 says:

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

Maybe the whole reason God wants us to learn to wait and rest in Him is because it is the only way our strength is renewed. He knows how we were created, and He also knows that He did not create our bodies to hold on to stress the way we do. How many physical problems could we avoid by just learning to rest in God?

Matthew 11:28-30 says:

“Come to Me, all you who labor 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. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Jesus is the answer for everything we are going through. We are to come and take His yoke and find rest in Him. When we try to control our circumstances or try to overwork ourselves, we labor in vain. We begin to struggle with the heavy weight we have just placed upon ourselves because we have failed to rest in Jesus. A person who labors is struggling, and one with a heavy burden is overloaded. Jesus is telling us to come to Him, find rest in Him. He wants to take our burdens and struggles from us and give us peace. But the only way for us to receive His peace is to stop trying to control our own circumstances and stop trying to get everything done that can wait for tomorrow. We need to learn to fully rely on Him and place complete trust in Him knowing that He will help us and He is for us.

This Christmas Season, I challenge you to give everything over to God. Begin to learn to rest in Him. Trust that He is with you and will strengthen your soul. In doing this, may you find joy in today.

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