Monday, June 25, 2012

Receiving Rest

I’ve recently started a Bible study at my church called Brave, and the very first week was titled ‘I Am Worn Out’.  Uh, yeah, that’s me. And while I knew I was physically tired, I didn’t realize I was spiritually worn out too.

Or maybe I did. But I didn’t know what to do about it.

Good thing God’s got it covered.

On day four of the study, Matthew 11:28 was written in the margin. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”  I’ve read this verse many, many times and always applied it to my physical weariness and rest, but I never really thought about the burdened part. This time it stood out to me, resonated with my tired soul. See, I’d been holding onto things and picking up even more that I shouldn’t have. And I know I can’t be the only one who does this. And while I did a lot of studying on this verse that I’d love to share another time, today I only want to share my immediate response to these simple words.

I was reminded of when my husband and I moved years ago. We had boxes and boxes of books that were incredibly heavy and I struggled carrying them. I remember the relief my muscles felt when Hubby would take a box from me. I didn’t fight him on it, I happily relinquished my hold to him. And that’s what God’s asking to do for us.

Much like those boxes of books, we carry burdens, and they can tire our spiritual muscles out. But God says, “Come to me…and I will give you rest.” See, He’s asking to carry the load for us. But for Him to do that, we must first do two things

For starters, we have to come to Him. No more trying on our own. And He’s not going to chase us down. He’s calling out for our tired bodies and spirits to seek Him out. That part is pretty clear with the “come to me” directive.

But it’s the second part we sometimes miss. God says “and I will give you rest”. He’s got it there, waiting for us. Yet, the very act of giving demands the action of receiving. God can hold His hands out all day long, ready to relieve our spiritual muscles, but we must surrender the hold on our burden to Him and receive His rest.

Believe me, I know how hard that is to do. Allowing the burden out of our arms, letting it loose in essence—removing all control…oh so hard for this control-loving gal—so that with our empty arms we can grab onto His rest. Yet until we do, we cannot receive His rest.

Remember. His shoulders are bigger. His muscles far stronger. And He never grows weak or tired. Even “God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.” (I Corinthians 1:25) So whatever is weighing you down today, hand it over to Him right now and receive the rest He’s waiting to give you.

What have you got to lose besides some tired muscles? 


  1. I've been letting myself spend too much time thinking about my unsaved sister, and the "wordly" things she's involved in -- namely a particular secular book series that's out right now that apparently women are gobbling up in mass numbers. It's very disturbing where the world is at right now with these books, and it makes me extremely sad. My mind had spent too much time on this, and I know I need to pray about it, and leave it with Him. It's been weighing so heavily on my heart that it is making me tired. I can't fix the world, and I'm not in charge of my sister's salvation, but He is. He's in the business of miracles, not me. I can plant the seed, and God will take care of the rest.

    It's not my job to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, and my time would be much better spent focusing completely on Him, and what is described in Philippians 4:8.

    Thanks for this great post Susan, and for the opportunity to share a bit of what's been on my mind recently. Sorry for rambling on a bit long. ;-)

    Have a great day!

    1. Share your heart anytime, Michelle. And I'll join you in praying for your sister. It's so easy to take on those weights, isn't it? And when they are so near to our heart, we tend to carry the load far too's so hard to let go of something so precious to us and something we want so badly. Praying for you:)

  2. Thank you so much for this reminder. Just this morning as my husband was getting ready to head out the door to work we talked about needing some rest - and the difficulty in getting it. Both of us work so hard at what we do, we have a hard time resting and playing. It's a learned behavior, I'm convinced of it. This is something I need to seek God for and have Him direct me to the answer.

    1. Sometimes I feel guilty for taking rest...oh and playing! It seems we're pushed by this world to keep going, moving, don't stop. Yet when we search out God, He asks us to rest. I kinda like that:) Praying He directs your steps as you seek Him:)

  3. Wow, that sounds like a wonderful Bible study.

    It is definitely hard to just give my concerns to God. I'm a do-er, I like to feel like I'm fixing things or somehow in control. But total surrender requires giving that up...doing my best, but not pushing myself into exhaustion, spiritual, emotional or physical.

    Thanks for the refreshing reminder!

  4. Great lesson here, Susan! It's so true that we're the ones who have to be willing to give up our burden and let the Lord carry it. He's not going to fight us to get it! So wonderful to know that putting things in His hands WILL give me the peace & rest I need. Thanks for this encouraging post today! Hugs & Blessings!