“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.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
God spoke these words into my life about two months ago. They sound wonderful don’t they? Chill out. Stop trying so hard. Learn to rest.
So why am I finding it so difficult to live like this? Everything in me should welcome this opportunity to slow down and live life at a slower, gentler pace but instead everything fights against it because it doesn’t make sense or match up with my experience of life, including the 20 odd (and at times very odd) years of being a Christian. I always thought it was all about striving to be a better person; going out of your way for others at your own expense; laying down and let them walk all over you. That is certainly how I read the Bible and interpreted the countless sermons I have heard.
Yet God seems to saying something different. He is telling me to spend more time reclining against him as Mary did at Jesus’ feet in Luke 10. But I am still being very Martha-like fussing about all the stuff that needs doing. It all seems so illogical.
I write this because it may be that God is trying to say the same thing to you. If so, join me on the journey and hopefully we can learn from one another.
15 This is what the Sovereign Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me
and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
But you would have none of it.
16 You said, ‘No, we will get our help from Egypt.
They will give us swift horses for riding into battle.’
But the only swiftness you are going to see
is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you!
17 One of them will chase a thousand of you.
Five of them will make all of you flee.
You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill
or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop.”
Blessings for the Lord’s People
18 So the Lord must wait for you to come to him
so he can show you his love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God.
Blessed are those who wait for his help.
Isaiah 30:15-18 (New Living Translation)
Is this something that you struggle with? How does God help you to rest and avoid the franticness of life? Let me know your thoughts.