Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Rest for the Weary

Image by <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=330869">Giulia Marotta</a> from <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=330869">Pixabay</a>

 "Come to me, all you who are weary, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28

I planned to write this post at the end of 2020. It was a long year, wasn't it? We thought it couldn't get worse. Yet, here we are in 2021 and there are still major upheavals in our lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, we have a new president and while some are happy about that, some are clearly not, as evidenced by the violent storming of the Capitol by extremists on January 6 and the subsequent impeachment of Donald Trump. Sigh. Drama, drama, drama. Whichever side you're on, the daily news is pretty exhausting most of the time. Add in a dose of chronic illness (with the fear of getting even sicker thanks to the coronavirus) and it can be pretty overwhelming, right?

If it's any consolation, life back in Jesus' time was no less complicated. Throughout the Bible, you find stories of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Famines and plagues were not uncommon. God's people traveled from land to land, sometimes being enslaved or persecuted, while at other times finding themselves wandering around in the desert due to their own disobedience. Jesus' family had to flee the country to protect Him from being executed while He was just a baby, and then He became highly unpopular with the Pharisees, from the start of His ministry all the way through to His crucifixion. Jesus knew that life could be stressful, not just some of the time, but a LOT of the time.

Jesus' invitation to rest in Him when we are weary reflects the prayer of King David in Psalm 23. Verses 1-4 from the New Living Bible say:

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.

Do you see here what resting in the Lord means? We not have all we want, but in Him, we have all we need. Like a shepherd tending his flock, Jesus lets us rest when we are weary, while He keeps watch over us. He leads us beside peaceful streams, giving us living water for our parched and thirsty souls. He renews our strength when we feel like we can't go on. He guides us along right paths, giving us discernment and wisdom, direction and purpose, when we aren't sure which way to go. Even when we are in the darkest times of our lives, we need not be afraid, for we know He is close by, there to protect and comfort us.

No matter what you may be facing in 2021, you are not alone. God is with us in Emmanuel. He will walk with you, guide you and protect you, allowing you to rest in His presence while regaining the strength you need to continue on your journey. Do not be dismayed. Do not be discouraged. Do not be afraid. Instead, take courage from the power of His might. And when you are weary, go to Jesus. He will give you rest.

Peace, love and joy to you today.


Rest for the Weary originally appeared on Spring Sight blog, by Linda W. Perkins. Click here for more posts. Get even more encouragement by following me on Facebook.