As heard in my counselor’s office, circa 2015: “But how will I get anything done without anxiety?” I said, curiosity and hope crying out for another way.
My counselor replied, with a kind and knowing smile, “I think there are some people who do.”
My eyes then moved to a verse framed on the wall that simply said, “Come to me all you who are heavy and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
In that moment I felt the tiniest part, somewhere deep in my soul, a desire was ignited to figure out if it really was possible to do life from a position of rest. By this time I had spent my entire adult life striving and focused on one goal, living out “the call” – the call to be a missionary.
I was the model Christian woman and mom, however the soul position driving all of my accomplishments was a hamster wheel of hyper vigilance. I was constantly working to make sure that I did everything right, so that I would be approved, accepted, and adored by God, my parents and society.
That day in my counselor’s office was a flexion point in my life story, the point at which I decided to try and figure out if it could even be possible to do life from a place of peace, knowing the kindness of the Father as my home.
You see, I used to think rest equaled laziness. My husband would often encourage me to take a day of rest and I would look at him with a confused look on my face because I legitimately did not know what he meant! Rest, much less resting in Christ was not a concept I could engage with my mind or my spirit very easily.
This journey has led me through valleys and many dark nights of the soul. I have travelled to doctor’s offices, counselor’s chairs, friend’s couches, and my own soul’s sanctuary – and each one has lovingly guided me on this journey toward a new way, to learn what it looks like to follow Jesus’ unforced rhythms of grace.
I have not completed this journey, this healing path that I am currently walking on. Sometimes I find myself in the ditch, and I look to my side and there is Jesus, down there with me, patiently waiting, and when we are ready, he reaches out his hand, I take it, and we continue down the path together again.
My soul has been nourished time and time again by the following words of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 11:28-30. I leave these with you today, and my hope is that the eyes of your heart would be awakened yet again (or maybe for the first time!) to the rest that is offered us in Christ.
Are you tired?
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.
–Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
Questions for Reflection:
1. Where are some areas you feel tired, worn out, or burned out?
2. When you picture the face of Jesus, what does it look like?
3. What might it look like to engage the unforced rhythms of Jesus in your life today?