Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 (ESV)
I‘ve struggled in recent weeks with feeling rested. On paper, our summer calendar seemed well-balanced, but in reality, it’s been non-stop. As I’ve juggled visits from out-of-town family and friends, keeping up with gardening and yard work, travel, the kids’ summer schedules and the usual demands of work and home, I’ve felt exhausted. On top of that, I’ve not been sleeping well. Our old farmhouse doesn’t have central air upstairs, and our outdated a/c system, combined with a flattened pillow-top on our decade-old mattress, has made for some pretty restless nights.
So I was feeling pretty hopeful when we had an new a/c unit installed earlier in the week, and even more so when my husband came home yesterday with a new memory-foam mattress pad. I went to bed last night confident that I’d finally find rest. Alas, I still ended up tossing and turning, and woke this morning still in need of the elusive rest I sought.
Thank you, Lord, that even when I don’t feel rested, I can depend on you and find rest for my soul. Give me strength today in my weakness. Remind me of your goodness. Help me to trust you for my needs.
But God, in his faithfulness, reminded me this morning of the source of my rest. The verse above from Matthew encourages me that when I come to him, he will give me rest. It goes on to say that when we learn from him, we will find rest for our souls.
Ahhhh. Soul rest. While physical and emotional rest are important (critical enough to be a commandment), true rest starts with my soul. Even when my body and mind are weary, my soul can be at rest when I look to God, quieting my soul before him and trusting in him to provide for my needs. Soul rest doesn’t depend on a clear calendar or a comfortable sleeping environment – soul rest requires a heart posture of complete dependency on and submission to the Lord. I can trust his goodness, even in the midst of my fatigue.
Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. (Psalm 116:7)
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