Reading: Galatians 5:22-23; Matthew 11:28 *
REST FOR THE WEARY
Imagine your most tired self. Imagine that you can’t find rest at all. The United States has a holiday that came about as a result of people wanting to find rest in the workforce. It’s a holiday that comes around the first Monday in September. You probably know it as Labor Day. Labor Day is a day of rest for most people. It is a day where we can sit back, relax, and actually enjoy ourselves.
Matthew 11:28 speaks to this very problem. It says, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” God is faithful. No matter what we are feeling or how we may be doing, God is always there for us to be able to go to with our problems or our concerns and even our joys.
“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden.” This encompasses everybody in the world. At some point in time we all become exhausted and need to find the ultimate rest. I run cross country and distance events in track. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to finally cross the finish line after I get done racing 5-6 miles. I am physically exhausted. It feels amazing to be able to stop especially if I feel as though I gave everything I had for the race. I can also be completely mentally exhausted, and so can you. I’m sure most, if not all of us, have felt so overwhelmed with school or work or family that we ended up having some sort of mental breakdown. It’s not fun and it makes it that much harder for us to get back in the mix of things when we are able to come back from our breakdown. Or how about emotionally exhausted? Usually this can come from some type of abuse or from broken relationships with someone who you were very close to. Or maybe, you just stretched yourself too thin and are now reaping the pain of it. Although none of these things can be considered fun or rewarding, quite possibly the worst way you can be exhausted is spiritually. Spiritual exhaustion is absolutely awful. It can cause you to feel like you have too much God, too much Jesus, almost like you have too much of a good thing. It’s a horrible feeling. I can remember only one time being like this. I was working at a church camp near Kansas City. I got absolutely tired of going through the same things week in and week out with the kids that I was supposed to be mentoring. I basically gave up on trying to seriously grow in my faith to a point. Unfortunately, I was spiritually exhausted.
“And I will give you rest.” God is a faithful god who will give you all the rest that you need. He is not a simple “side-line” god cheering us on from the dugout. According to Merriam-Webster.com, faithfulness is defined as “having or showing true and constant support or loyalty.” Isn’t that amazing that the creator of the universe would choose to be constantly supporting us in everything we do. When we turn away from Him, He is there. When we disown Him, He is there. When we hurt our fellow man, He is there. God is faithful to us, more than we can ever repay Him for. When this becomes coupled with His ability to give us the ultimate rest, I can’t even begin to describe how awesome it makes me feel. Just to have someone as powerful as my God care about me enough to be faithful to me no matter what crap I put Him through and then to offer me the ultimate rest that only He can give, gives me the strength to go day after day. No matter what I’m feeling, I know I have someone that I can turn to in the blink of an eye, and I know that He will always be there.
Prayer: Pray for everybody that is experiencing exhaustion of any sort. Pray that they will realize that God is always there for them, no matter what. If you are the one needing prayer, I implore you to turn to God in prayer, and then find someone else to keep you accountable in praying to God for rest.