Rest: The manipulation and deception of the body into a position where exhaustion takes over with a result of sitting still or falling asleep, only to arise in a state of guilt and frustration later for the “wasted time.”
That’s my warped definition of rest.
It’s only been lately that I’ve come to the realization about how very little I rest. And by rest I don’t mean my warped definition, but that of the Lord Jesus Christ who said in Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Prior to that verse He had chastised cities where He had done great works, but there was no repentance (vs. 21-24) But then His conversation turns to those for whom He has compassion, the wise and the prudent,” who God has hidden things from as though they were babes; those who still don’t understand who God is but are willing to learn. (vs. 27)
I don’t really consider myself to be the “wise and the prudent.” But I guess that I am from the standpoint that I seek to know God deeper, past the infant state that I feel that I’m in most of the time. And often times I can’t get to that deeper relationship because I’m just too tired from life. And so God understands and gives me this verse to chew on today, and to experience it once again, but this time, to go deeper into understanding “rest.”
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (vs. 29-30)
Take my yoke… attach myself to Christ in such a manner that the two of us are working together as one. The same work that I’ve put upon myself, alone, believing that to be the best idea. Yes, I am that foolish mortal.
God desires to bare that load and give us rest even in the midst of the labor. But we must first yoke ourselves with Him so that every step we take, in every day, we take it together. Allowing Him to shoulder the load that drives us to exhaustion. When I do the dishes, He is there, When I make the bed, He is there. When I write, sing, serve, He is there!
Not only allowing Him to shoulder the load, but getting so close, as we’re bonded together through the yoke, that we begin to witness and understand the character of Christ. He’s not a slave driver; He is meek (humble) and lowly (common and simple) willing to take on and share in even the menial tasks of our lives so that our lives can be better. God, the Creator of all the earth, wants to walk with His creation just as He did in the days of Adam, but now through the Holy Spirit.
What must it have been like when Adam walked in the garden with God? No doubt an awesome, enlightening experience. We have that opportunity, but we’re too busy to realize He’s there, waiting to shoulder our load, our every burden, and talk us through.
I am a critter lover. I have two dogs, a cat, and 10 chickens. They each have their own personalities and agendas. The dogs live to serve, the cat lives to be served and the chickens live to be fed and to feed me (eggs). They all depend upon me, but they’re not all grateful. However, the one thing they all have in common is they understand the need for rest. Critters don’t overthink anything, they just do what they’re created to do.
I get that they don’t have souls, they’re not burdened for the lost, nor do they really care if I have money in the bank. They don’t understand any of that. But they understand the simplicity of the Creator. The humble and lowly Jesus.
If we are to live our lives being more like Him, we, or at least I, need to stop overthinking life because it overwhelms my soul and robs me of rest.
Jesus knew that. That’s why He wrote those verses. That’s why He made me a critter lover, so that I could see Him through His creation.